Ice carvers chill and thrill in Middlebury

Third Fridays in Middlebury featured ice carvers, and merchants collected donations for the Middlebury Food Pantry.

Posted on Dec. 22, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury featured icy art Friday evening as the Michiana Ice Carvers created 10 ice carvings for Middlebury’s Third Fridays.

“There are five or six of us here tonight,” said ice carver Mike Evans as he shaped a block of ice into an old-fashioned coffee grinder in front of The Legendary Grind. The carvers use chain saws, grinders, chisels and torches to make their creations.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years,” Evans said. “There was an ice carving mini contest at the University of Notre Dame, and I tried it.”

Abby and Kyle Bontrager brought their children to see the ice sculptures.

“We were going to go sledding, but then there wasn’t enough snow, so we brought them to see the ice carvings,” said Abby Bontrager.

Friday night didn’t have much snow, but it did have cold temperatures, which is good for ice carving.

“Last weekend we were in Michigan City and it was raining, and we were out there carving. It didn’t last very long,” said carver Alfredo Arroyo. He carved a tool box full of tools in front of Varns and Hoover Hardware.

“This is the third year I’ve done the tool box. They assign it to me because they like the way I do it,” Arroyo said.

While the ice carvings brought people outside, the warm and welcoming shops beckoned people to go inside.

At The Cinnamnon Stick, Dick Schlatter with Dick’s Incredible Nuts came back from Battle Creek, Mich., to take part in this month’s Third Fridays event after a successful experience in November.

“It was packed last month for Third Fridays for the Hometown Holidays shopping event,” said Cinnamon Stick manager Cindy Miller. “It’s always our biggest shopping night.”

The theme for this month’s Third Fridays was “Caring is Sharing.” Merchants collected donations for the Middlebury Food Pantry.

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