SHIPSHEWANA — Warm weather brought bigger crowds to the Shipshewana Ice Festival this weekend but made the ice sculpture competition more difficult for carvers, organizers said.
Event organizer Levi King estimated about 10,000 people came out to see sculptures commissioned by local businesses Friday, Dec. 27, and to see the carving competition Saturday morning, Dec. 28.
Nine ice carvers competed for cash prizes, while twelve cooks brought their best recipes to the chili cookoff.
King said the ice is more difficult to work with on a warm day like Saturday, when highs were in the upper-40s.
“It was real difficult for them,” King said. “They did a good job, though.”
The winning sculpture, carved by Mike Evans, was a tiger jumping through a hoop. Second place went to John Crumpacker, and Bobby Elkins took third place.
The chili cookoff was won by LaGrange County Sheriff candidate Richard Snyder, who whipped up a spicy red chili. Simple Sounds won second place with a white chicken chili, and a sweet pineapple chili by E & S Sales won third place.
By mid-afternoon, the results of the morning's carving competition looked more like “big pillars” than works of art, King said.
“You can't really tell what they were,” he said.
Despite this drippy problem, King said the festival was a success.
“The name of the game is to get people to come out and I think we got that accomplished,” King said. “We're very happy about that.”