CLARKS SUMMIT — This year’s Clarks Summit Festival of Ice weekend can be described in one word: “cold.” But despite the below-zero temperatures and biting winds, some people used another word to sum up the 12th annual Abington Business and Professional Association (ABPA) sponsored event: “fun.”
“We had so much fun,” said Barry Kaplan, of Everything Natural, a festival committee member. “It was a lot of fun for our store, for me personally and definitely the committee. We really enjoyed this, and we enjoyed the community coming out and having all that fun themselves.”
Although the Wells Fargo stagecoach rides were cancelled due to the weather, Kaplan said the company is working with the ABPA to schedule another time to bring the stagecoach and horses in to town.
”From what I understand, everybody who braved the cold and came out, really enjoyed it,” said ABPA Executive Director Laura Ancherani.
She added the ABPA received many compliments on not only the theme of “Frozen Frontier,” but also the ways it played out in the 50-plus ice sculptures created by Sculpted Ice Works and the various interactive activities included in the festival.
“The ice sculptures were beautiful – the work that went into them,” Ancherani said.
Sue Van Horn, local manager of Frontier Communications, this year’s presenting sponsor and welcome center host, agrees.
“Everyone seemed to love the theme this year and had a great time looking at the sculptures,” she said. “We had an equal amount of local visitors, as well as visitors from outside the area. Many make this an annual trip. We met many first time festival attendees as well.”
Van Horn said about 120 visitors came through the welcome center on Saturday and about 40 more on Sunday — fewer than previous years, likely due to the frigid temperatures.
“When we had our festival meeting on Friday, Feb. 5, there was discussion that the perfect temperature for the ice festival is 28 degrees,” she said. “We were actually a little concerned that it might be too warm. Little did we know that we would not exceed 28 degrees when we combined the temperatures for Saturday and Sunday.”
Attendees, however, found ways to keep warm.
“The great thing about the ice festival is that there are things to do both indoors and outdoors, so visitors could look at a few sculptures and then pop into a store, the welcome center, The Gathering Place/borough building, etc. to get warm, then brave the temperatures to look at the next set of ice sculptures,” Van Horn said. “Everyone that came in was in a great mood and loved the hand warmers that we were giving away. I always love meeting our guests in the welcome center. Frontier is happy to be part of this annual event.”
According to Kaplan, people came from as far away as Connecticut and Virginia to attend the festival.
“There were a lot of people in town over this weekend,” Kaplan said. “I would say it was a resounding success, and more importantly, that’s what I heard all through the weekend from the people who did come. …They said it was charming and lovely, and a wonderful, vibrant town, and they were eager to come back. And that’s part of the fun and the excitement of it for me personally and for the ABPA, to know that we’re using the festival as a showcase for our wonderful community.”
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.