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WINTER ISSUE


Ice sculpture competition at Rockford Ice Festival.


Photo: Jeff Hage/Green Frog


SNOW


January events in Michigan revolve around one thing: snow. Certainly there are boundless opportunities to dodge the reality of winter. And although there is no shortage of vo- ciferous wintertime grumblers, luckily there are the determined few who seek to make freezing temperatures and car-burying snow into a veritable bonanza of outdoor excitement or, simply put, festivals. Every county, town and city seems to host a snow/ winter/ice bash. Here are a few, no- table for wacky contests, cutthroat contests and heated tents.


24 | REVUEWM.COM | JANUARY 2012 ICE SCULPTING


COMPETITION Each year, Downtown Holland joins forces with the National Ice Carving Association and hosts a Collegiate Invitational Ice Sculpting Competition. “What makes our event different is that ours is a collegiate invitational and is a qualifier for the inter- national competition that happens in Frankenmuth,” said Kara de Alvare, event coordinator at City of Holland. Over the course of two days, students will compete for glory on the streets of Holland in com- pulsory and freestyle contests, while attendees enjoy that action from the comfort of heated sidewalks. Afterwards, many merchants will display interactive ice sculptures outside their storefronts. “Last year we had a sculpture that was three Eskimo bodies with their faces cut out so people could pose behind,” de Alvare said. Another previous display was a giant tic-tac-toe game that onlookers could play. Whether you come for the excitement of a serious competition or to simply wander, indulging in a hot beverage while gawking at the beauty of an icy creation, it will be two days of winter fun. Downtown Holland / Jan. 6-7 / Free / downtownholland.com


CELEBRATE ECLECTIC WINTER EVENTS // By Audria Larsen


MUSKEGON SNOWFEST Among snow-related fetes, the Snowfest boasts


Muskegon’s only heated entertainment tent. “We don’t want people to freeze,” said Nick Bessinger, Snowfest co-chair. “Friday is a Muskegon happy hour with live music. It’ll be about 23 degrees outside and 60 degrees in the tent.” Beyond a heated beer tent, Snowfest has a myriad of other activities like the very Michigan euchre tournament, snow vol- leyball, cornhole (think beanbag toss) and a Mardi Gras-themed game of Broomball, at the L.C. Walker Arena. To satisfy hearty appetites, the Battle of the Bowl event features “area restaurants that bring out soups and chili and people bring in cupcake trays to sample [competing] soups. With a people’s choice award and a judge’s choice award,” Bessinger said. Simultaneously, the KidsFest keeps the children oc- cupied during the soup battle. Last year the KidsFest attendees made valentines for a local retirement home community. Greater Muskegon Jaycees / Jan. 25-29 / muskegonsnowfest.org


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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