This snowy start to the month of January is welcome news to the organizers of the annual Chardon WinterFest, slated for January 17.
“Although our activities are not dependent on the snow, it does lend itself to a great atmosphere and helps people appreciate Chardon’s status as the snow capital of Ohio,” said Steve Turpin, WinterFest chair and a board member of Chardon Tomorrow, which organizes the event.
The festival, sponsored by University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, will be held from 2 – 7 p.m. on the Square. Families can enjoy continuous wagon rides, drawn by the Big Sky Clydesdales, meet the members of the Siberian husky dog sled team, enjoy ice sculpture displays and demonstrations and watch flames explode through the top of a seven-foot fire and ice tower.
Guests can also enjoy complimentary cider and cookies around outside fire pits. Other activities include raffles, free face tattooing, demonstrations from the Geauga Park District and Lake Metroparks, and a snowmobile stand. Chardon Tomorrow will be selling hot dogs, hot chocolate and other food for a minimal charge.
The event culminates at dusk with the lighting of the fire and ice tower. The sculpture is shaped like a giant chimney with wood and other flammables stuffed inside. Once lit, the structure glows to illuminate the intricate carving. The tower is designed by Elegant Ice Creations, a world-renowned northeast Ohio ice sculpting company.
On hand to help celebrate the festival will be members of the WinterFest Ice Princess Court, which includes Riley Tatonetti as Miss Ice and Sam Stansbury as Miss Fire, both from Chardon, attending Chardon High School. Joining them will be 12-year-old Lauren Lester from Chardon as the Ice Princess.
Chardon Tomorrow is a non-profit organization that promotes the town of Chardon and encourages economic development. For more information, visit chardontomorrow.org.