The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 25, 2014

Ligonier Ice Fest carves out a good time

LIGONIER — Ryan Crosby and Jared McAlister spent more than an hour on a cold, snowy afternoon carving a magnificent 6-foot-tall rooster from ice during the start of the 23rd annual Ligonier Ice Fest.

The rooster is one of 50 ice sculptures that were carved out Saturday by artists from DiMartino Ice Co., Jeannette.

The rooster and other works of art can be seen on the Diamond, and more are located along Main Street.

“It’s going well,” Crosby said about the event. “It’s good weather for the ice but a little cold for the crowd.”

McAlister said he learned a lot about carving from Crosby.

“The crowd is enjoying themselves,” McAlister said. “It’s a good turnout for how cold it is.”

Mark Maley of Geistown, who was at the event with his wife, Vicki, and friends and family members, said they attend each year.

“We enjoy all the camaraderie with our friends and family,” Maley said.

He said they stopped at Joe’s Bar to look at the exotic stuffed animals on display and were planning to go to Carol and Dave’s Roadhouse restaurant after viewing the ice sculptures.

Tim and Wendy Grace of Stoystown, who were ready to take off on a sleigh ride, said that the event was nice.

Cindy Orient of Pittsburgh said the ice fest is something fun to do during cold weather.

“The ice sculptures are beautiful,” she said.

James Kowalczyk, an ice carver, was busy sculpting two turtles kissing.

“It’s great,” Kowalczyk said about the event.

Kayla Tamer, executive assistant with the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the ice fest, said it was going well.

“We still have lots of people despite the weather,” Tamer said. “It’s a successful event and one that brings a lot of people from out of town to shop at local merchants and eat at our restaurants.”

The ice fest continues today with a free concert by Swing City at 12:30 p.m. and a speed-carving contest, in which sculptures are created in 30 minutes, at 2.

Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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