Ice Sculpture Festival chills downtown Downers Grove

You know the expression: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And while the phrase might not have originally applied to weather patterns, we think it’s pretty relevant when it comes to ice.

If you go

The Downtown Downers Grove Ice Festival: Once Upon a Time

Free

5:30 p.m. Feb. 6; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 7-8

Downtown Downers Grove must agree. They’ve taken the stuff we have an overabundance of this month and turned it into a reason to celebrate at the annual Ice Sculpture Festival.

This year’s celebration taps into our recent national obsession with fairy tales with the theme “Once Upon a Time.” The approximately 40 ice sculptures lining the streets of downtown will reflect that theme, with businesses being encouraged to choose sculptures that reflect their favorite books and stories. Keep an eye out for Madeline, Goldilocks and other classic characters, plus Rocco and Rocco Salon’s traditional kissing booth (a popular photo op spot).

Erin Venezia, marketing director for the DG Downtown Management Corp., says families might even spy a certain fairy tale queen who starred in a frosty flick last winter.

In addition, families can watch real ice sculptures take shape Friday evening (Feb. 6) and in two different locations all day Saturday and Sunday. Bystanders are encouraged to suggest sculpture ideas, which have included the Blackhawks logo and a huge totem pole in the past.

“It’s fun to see what they can make out of ice,” Venezia says.

If you need to warm up, stop by First Congregational Church on Saturday morning for a yummy pancake breakfast, or take advantage of shopping and dining deals at local Downers Grove businesses. Plus, Ronald McDonald is set to put on a magic show at the train station (think the Hamburglar will stop by?).

And even if the weather doesn’t quite cooperate–it is winter, after all–we’re betting this frozen weekend will be a “happily ever after” for everyone who attends.

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