Downtown Holland hosts ice-sculpting invitational
Downtown Holland will carve out some of the winter blues this weekend at its collegiate ice-sculpting invitational.
Downtown Holland, in partnership with the National Ice Carving Association, will host its annual Collegiate Invitational Ice Sculpting Competition this Friday and Saturday on 8th Street for college students and professionals to display their icy artwork.
“It is always so popular,” said Kara de Alvare, marketing coordinator, Downtown Holland. “We do a lot of events repeatedly over the years, because the community embraces them so much, and it is something that is different. We have a great relationship with the professional carvers and with NICA. The students and carvers love coming to Holland.”
Holland has hosted an annual ice-sculpting event in the downtown area during in January since 2009, in partnership with the association.
The free two-day competition begins Friday night with a compulsory event for collegiate students, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., to create their first piece, using chisels, chainsaws and torches out of a 300-pound block of ice.
For the first time this year, five professional ice carvers will also participate in a demonstration event on Saturday morning, from 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., using two to three blocks of ice to create ice sculptures.
The collegiate competition resumes on Saturday, from 12:30-4:30 p.m., with a freestyle event, before culminating with a private dinner and awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m. at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center.
Students will represent various colleges: Oakland Community College, Montcalm Community College, Art Institute of Michigan, as well as schools from New York and Ohio.
Students who participate in the event will compete for non-cash prizes and awards, since the event is often used as a practice round for the national championship, which takes place at the end of the month.
“It is a collegiate competition that doesn’t allow students to receive cash prizes, so they will get medals, ribbons and gift certificates for their school culinary programs to purchase tools, like new chainsaws or torches or chisels,” de Alvare said. “It is really nice, because people can see all of these great carvers right here.”