Clarks Summit Festival of Ice a success despite warm temperatures


By Robert Tomkavage - [email protected]



Twins Bryan and Jeffrey Barlow, Appalachia Service Project volunteers from Clarks Green United Methodist Church, hold the doors open and welcome festival-goers to The Gathering Place Saturday afternoon.


Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

CLARKS SUMMIT — Despite the unseasonably warm weather, this year’s Clarks Summit Festival of Ice was still deemed a success by several individuals directly involved with the event.

“I think it was a wonderful festival,” committee member Barry Kaplan said. “The highlight every year is seeing the people and families come out and enjoy it. People didn’t seem to mind the ice melting; all the events were still going on and they were just happy to be out and about.”

Per The Weather Channel, the temperature topped out at 58 degrees Saturday and 59 Sunday.

“From year to year, you never quite know what’s going to happen with the weather,” Kaplan said. “I always say we hope for 28 degrees and partly sunny. It’s comfortable enough for the people and it makes the sculptures sparkle, but I’d rather warm weather than rain or bitter cold and wind.”

While Kaplan didn’t know the official number of guests who attended the festival, he noted it was well attended.

“The streets were packed with people,” he said. “Based on the crowds and the history, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was more than 30,000.”

Kaplan felt the Broadway theme was very popular and brought out the creative spirit in many guests.

“People came dressed in costumes of characters from different shows,” he said.” They were so excited about the theme, it really captured their imagination.”

Among the most popular ice sculptures, Kaplan said the slide outside the Clarks Summit Borough Building seemed to be a hit.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to see for many years,” he said.

The Festival of Ice, presented by the Abington Business and Professional Association, also featured the opening of The Gathering Place for Community, Arts and Education in the former Clarks Summit firehouse, 304 S. State St.

“It was exciting to share it with the public for the first time,” Gathering Place President Dori Waters said. “It was jam-packed with people and we received a lot of very good feedback. I was most impressed with some of the programs, specifically the All About Theatre performance featuring actors and actresses with special needs. It was very inspiring to a lot of people who saw it.”

Waters added the Broadway theme presented an opportunity for interesting programming. The Gathering Place hosted a ballroom dancing demonstration and guests who played the ukulele and other stringed instruments.

“We really tried to follow the theme and connect it to classes we will be starting in March,” she said.

Twins Bryan and Jeffrey Barlow, Appalachia Service Project volunteers from Clarks Green United Methodist Church, hold the doors open and welcome festival-goers to The Gathering Place Saturday afternoon.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_ABJ-Ice-Sat-02-1.jpgTwins Bryan and Jeffrey Barlow, Appalachia Service Project volunteers from Clarks Green United Methodist Church, hold the doors open and welcome festival-goers to The Gathering Place Saturday afternoon. Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

[email protected]

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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