Camden's Winterfest 2014 set for February 1
CAMDEN — Winterfest, Camden's annual celebration of winter and community, will return to the Amphitheatre on Saturday, February 1, at noon. The date was chosen to create "bookend" weekends in February, beginning with Winterfest on February 1 and the National Toboggan Championships on February 6-8, to give townspeople and visitors a reason to get outdoors and enjoy the winter season.
The centerpiece of Winterfest continues to be the ice sculpting event. Teams carve crystal-clear, 300-pound blocks of ice into exquisite, sparkling artwork that remain in the Amphitheatre until sun and rain finally reduce. Tim Pierce, Executive Chef at the Samoset Resort, leads an ice sculpting workshop each season to teach how to use the ice sculpting tools, and to help lay out the art on the blocks. Pierce is very enthusiastic about ice sculpting and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and skills. Pierce is also planning on constructing another Glacier Ice Bar at the Samoset again this winter. There are openings for more teams for the 2014 ice carving event, and anyone interested is asked to contact Ken Gross at the Camden Public Library for information and to register. The cost for registration is $50, and covers the cost of one block of carving ice, measuring 10" by 20" by 40", and weighing over 300 pounds.
In addition to ice sculpting, Winterfest offers family sledding, music outdoors and indoors, hot food outdoors, and kid crafts and face painting indoors. This year the Camden Winterfest activities will be expanded to make a week-long community festival. Winterfest will be on the first weekend, on February 1, and Camden's famous Toboggan National Championships, on the following weekend. The Camden Snow Bowl, Camden Public Library, Camden Downtown Business Group, and the PenBay Regional Chamber of Commerce are busy planning mid-week events as well. This year, for the first time, snow sculptures are planned for Camden as well as the traditional ice sculptures.
The Snow Bowl is planning on providing a mini-mountain of snow in the Amphitheatre for family winter fun such as sledding and building snowmen. With or without natural snow, families are encouraged to come and play and enjoy Camden's downtown public parks. Winter indoor crafts and face painting are offered free of charge to the younger set in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library during Winterfest on February 1. The warm rotunda of the library hosts live music by All That Jazz. Also on Atlantic Avenue, a merry band of culinary volunteers serve a variety of delicious hot soups and light snacks donated by local restaurants with proceeds benefiting the Camden Public Library.
In preparation for the Winterefest ice carving, Master Carver Tim Pierce will offer an outdoor workshop and demonstration on ice carving at the library on Sunday, January 19, at 1 p.m. All are welcome, and carvers who are participating in this year's Winterfest will be particularly interested in attending the workshop for tips on design and carving ice sculptures. The Amphitheatre will be home to the ice sculptures for several weeks after the event in what the committee calls a "Winter Ice Garden." The community is encouraged to keep coming back to the park to watch on a daily basis how the ice sculptures change and melt away.
For more information on Winterfest 2014 or participation in the community ice carving event, visit librarycamden.org or contact Ken Gross at the Camden Public Library at 236-3440.