Mohican WinterFest

Mohican WinterFest

Image Credit: File

Aaron Costic has built quite a reputation for himself as a global sensation in the ice-carving world. He and his crew from Elegant Ice have competed at competitions worldwide. Costic himself was a participant in the ice-carving competition at the Olympics, and they now travel extensively to perform their ice magic at shows.

On Jan. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Loudonville will be a nice place for family, friends and visitors to congregate as the Elegant Ice crew will be one of the main features during the annual Mohican WinterFest, where they will present a winter wonderland of ice sculptures in a celebration that has captured the fancy of people for many years.

In its inaugural year, the festival started out as a two-day event that also featured a grand winter parade, but it soon became apparent the ice sculpting was the big drawing card, and the focus soon shifted to Costic and his Elegant Ice crew’s ability to create art out of giant blocks of ice.

“It’s incredible to watch them in action,” said Valerie Sprang, executive director at Loudonville Chamber of Commerce. “The ice blocks kind of take on a life of their own as they carve and shape them. What’s even more fun is that we never know what kind of sculptures they are going to make, so we all get to watch them take shape as they work.”

Over the years Elegant Ice has brought downtown Loudonville and the park area on the square to life by presenting dozens of ice sculptures including animals, a giant throne, inanimate objects and even sculptures ordered specifically to promote an area business.

It is a process that starts with a huge block of ice and turns into a swan, bear or dolphin, then leaps to life as they take a blowtorch to the sculpture in a way that almost makes each piece glow.

Elegant Ice will bring several premade ice sculptures to the show, placing them along Main Street. Then each hour during the show, they will create a new piece that will be placed in the park. After each demonstration there will be a time to meet and chat with the professional sculptors, and they will even sign blocks of ice for the kids.

“What makes the ice sculpture time more enjoyable is the way the carvers interact with the crowd and explain what’s going on,” Sprang said. “They love to interact, and their stories are often humorous.”

Weather permitting, the premade sponsored sculptures will be placed along Main Street around 5 p.m. on Friday and will remain in place throughout the weekend. If the weather is too warm or rainy, the sculptures may go up Saturday morning instead. Ice sculpture demonstrations will begin at 11 a.m. and take place at the top of every hour until 4 p.m.

While the sculptures may highlight the event, there is much more to fill the day.

The annual Model Train Expo will take place in the Loudonville Fair Building beginning Friday, Jan. 13 from 4-8 p.m., then from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

That show will feature many train sets, collectors and more with loads of tables set up.

“That’s been a big part of our weekend for many years,” Sprang said. “The place is packed with trains and collectors who will share stories and talk about their collections.”

The Ohio Star Theater will present the reigning box office hit movie, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Mohican State Park Lodge will host Reptile Ramblings at noon on Friday while the Nature Center and State Park Campground will host a Reptile Feeding at 3 p.m. the same day.

Ugly Bunny Winery will present live music on Friday with Matt Shannon performing from 6-9 p.m. and on Saturday with Ryan Bandy taking the stage from 6-9 p.m.

Mohican State Park Trail will present a Mohican Experts Hiking Series starting Friday at 9 a.m.

On Saturday the doors will be open for Cleo Redd Fisher Museum tours from noon to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 203 E. Main St.

A Saturday showing of “A Glance at the Grist Mill” will be available at 1 p.m. at the grist mill while the vintage snowmobile show will be at Central Park on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday will be the annual American Legion Riders sponsored poker walk, which will start at the legion hall at 1 p.m. and go until 4 p.m.

For some good eats, the United Methodist Church will host an a la carte lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or visitors can eat at any of the fine dining establishments throughout the weekend.

“It’s a great weekend for the family to come to Loudonville and enjoy plenty of great family time,” Sprang said. “There’s so much to see and do.”