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January 19, 2013

Warm temps don’t put damper on Somerset festival

SOMERSET — Blocks of ice carvings filled the streets of Uptown Somerset on Saturday for the 18th annual Fire & Ice Festival.   

Some of the ice carvings sweated beneath temperatures that hovered well above freezing.

“My theory is this,” said Stephanie Williams, executive director of Somerset Inc., event sponsor.

“When it’s cold it’s great for the ice and bad for the people,” she said. “When it’s warm, it’s bad for the ice and great for the people.”

Saturday was a great day for hundreds of people who visited the borough.

Kids and parents filled First Christian Church on East Main Street, which had a Children’s Center, sponsored by Somerset Trust Co. It offered a variety of arts and crafts.

“I made sand art and had my face painted,” said Morgan Norris, 7, of Berlin. She was accompanied by her grandmother, Becky Norris of Sipesville.

Morgan said having her face painted was the big treat, but she also was excited as she showed what she held in her tiny hand.

“It’s a pink horse made from a balloon,” she beamed.

Mastro Gourmet Quality Ice of Pittsburgh provided ice carvings and Crazy Alice’s Cafe of Somerset added the fire.

Michael Deibler stirred a pot of southern-style jambalaya outside the cafe located on the diamond.

“We do this once a year and people seem to enjoy it,” said Deibler, a backup cook for Alice’s.

The recipe included chicken, rice, peppers, sausage and shrimp.

Deibler said there was one key ingredient.

“Crawdads from down south,” he said.

Deibler said the jambalaya received a key endorsement.

“I’ve actually had some people from down south try it,” he said. “I got their approval.”

Fire and Ice continues from noon to 4 p.m. today, Williams said.

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