CLARKS SUMMIT — You won’t have to travel to New York City to see the Radio City Rockettes.
They, along with many other Broadway favorites, will take center stage in the Abingtons this weekend during the 13th annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice, Feb. 17-20.
“We’ve been discussing a few different themes for the past couple years and this one has been on the back burner waiting for just the right time to come forward,” Abington Business and Professional Association (ABPA) Executive Director Laura Ancherani said. “We thought this was a great year to put it into action with all the attention Broadway has been receiving, both locally and nationally right now.
“I love the theme, in general, as it offers a great range in sculptures for all age groups. We also have a lot of support from local musicians and theater groups.”
Sponsored by the ABPA, festival themes have ranged from the Olympics to Hollywood to the Wild West.
Planning for the event encompasses most of the year, but witnessing the final product makes all the time and effort seem worthwhile for organizers.
“I enjoy seeing the fruits of our labor come to reality,” Ancherani said. “I spend so much time working on all the details throughout the year that it’s great to see it all come to life and the joy it brings to visitors.”
Even after 12 years, the festival remains a popular attraction for residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
“I think it continues to be successful because it’s unique to our area and has such strong support from our local community and county,” Ancherani said. “We’re always looking to improve things and make it fun and interesting with different themes and entertainment.”
The year’s festival will feature the opening of The Gathering Place for Community Arts and Education in the former Clarks Summit firehouse, 304 S. State St..
“I’m very excited we will be able to introduce the community to our almost finished building,” Gathering Place President Dori Waters said. “People will be able to come into a warm, beautiful environment from the cold.”
Waters believes the yearly festival provides the perfect chance to reminisce with friends.
“It’s an opportunity to see people you haven’t seen in a while,” she said. “It’s such a nice community event that brings everyone together. It also gives everyone a chance to get to know downtown Clarks Summit a little better.”
Mark Crouthamel, owner and sculptor of the Lakeville-based Sculpted Ice Works, enjoys the challenge of crafting different works of art.
“Each year, there is a new theme which brings the opportunity for so many unique sculptures,” he said.
Crouthamel and his staff will create 49 pieces, and will perform several live carvings throughout the festival.
“It’s great being able to see the people’s reactions to the sculptures and witness the joy they get out of them,” he said.
This year’s sculptures will have a slightly different look due to the Broadway theme.
“We’re going to introduce a new style by adding more color to them,” Crouthamel said.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.