Icefest thaws discontent with cold
CHAMBERSBURG- Brock Wetzel had a chance to do something special Saturday afternoon - send Chambersburg's mayor, Darren Brown, into a tub of steamed water on a day where the temperature didn't crack 40 degrees.
Of course, there was a bit of extra motivation for Wetzel, as he wasn't attempting to dunk Brown, the mayor. He was attempting to dunk Brown, the uncle.
Wetzel is Mayor Brown's nephew and he missed during his first round. But on the first attempt of his second round, he dropped him into the water, to the delight of the crowd surrounding the dunk tank. Wetzel was the first person to send Mayor Brown into the water, which meant he beat other young family members who were lining up to take a chance. The fact that all the money raised was going towards Relay for Life and Leadership Franklin County, helped Brown get in the tank.
"I'm glad there's so many people who came out today," Brown said.
Crowds swarmed downtown Chambersburg on Saturday for the 14th annual IceFest, admiring the ice sculptures, watching Glass Routes perform live glass blowing techniques, and voting in two food contests.
The first was the Icing on the Cake competition in the Capitol Theatre Wood Center. Visitors could vote on their favorite superhero-themed cake. Winning results were not available at press time. The second food competition allowed people to really warm up. It was the chili cook-off contest on Main Street. Both amateur and professional chili makers were ranked and decided by both judges and the public.
The judges' choice for the amateur division was the Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church and their choice for the professional division was SpiriTrust Lutheran. The people's choices for the two divisions were TrueNorth Wellness Services for the amateurs and Webb's Sports Bar for professionals.
In addition to voting on the chili, attendees were treated to a hot pepper eating contest, and when the two minutes were up, Dr. Paul Orange had consumed eight six-inch chili peppers and won the $100 prize. Orange had a plan for what he was going to do with the money. He was going to donate it to Todd Sites, a member of a fire company in Marion, who is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia in North Carolina.
"I thought it would be the best place to go," Orange said of donating the money.
One of the most popular events, especially for younger children, was the Double-Wide Ice Slide in the Old Capitol Theatre Parking Lot, next to Gartenberg Jewelers. Kristy Kriner had taken her young daughter Kaitlyn, 2, down the slide, and Kaitlyn enjoyed herself so much, they immediately returned to the back of the line.
"She wants to do it again," Kristy said.
If you didn't make it downtown Saturday, IceFest is still going on today. Sunday's activities and events include the "Run Your Ice Off" 5k event, two performances of “Flights of Fancy” by the Chambersburg Ballet Theatre School and Company, a Kids’ Fun Zone at Chambers Fort Park, along with the ice slide and of course, the dozens of ice sculptures that can be viewed in various locations downtown.
David Barr, 717-262-4752