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Cool Creations: 3 Ohio Ice Festivals

Embrace winter at these ice festivals offering scenic walks, hot cocoa and beautiful works of frozen art.

1/5: Canton Arts District First Friday: Winterfest 
The Canton Arts District puts a cool twist on its monthly First Friday event, stationing 20 ice sculptures made by local artists among the neighborhood’s more than 30 galleries, artist studios, music venues, restaurants, bars and shops. “This year, there’s going to be a lot of pieces that people can interact with — pieces that they can pose with and sit on,” says Tricia Ostertag, vice president of marketing and events at Arts In Stark. “One of them is going to be an ice house that people can take a picture in.” After checking out the sculptures and ice-carving demonstrations, browse the selection of jewelry, pottery and paintings. Then, warm up with hot mulled wine at Grapes in a Glass or the peanut butter hot cocoa at Cultured Coffee & Waffles. Cleveland Avenue, Canton 44702, 330/453-1075, cantonartsdistrict.com/firstfriday

1/20: Logan Frozen Festival
“Just a winter day in Hocking Hills,” is how festival chairwoman Jane McAdow describes this annual celebration of one of the most scenic areas of our state. Start the day at Old Man’s Cave for the 53rd annual Winter Hike that takes visitors on a 6-mile trek past icy waterfalls, cliffs and gorges. Afterward, head to downtown Logan for festivities that include entertainment and ice-carving demonstrations, as well as ice cornhole and Skee-Ball. Even warmer temps in 2016 couldn’t dampen the festival’s spirit. “The temperature got to about 40 to 45 degrees, which was warm,” McAdow recalls. “The cornhole game still lasted for the whole day.” If you’re looking for something to take home with you, check out chainsaw carver Dale Bockrath’s pop-up stand featuring wildlife-inspired wood creations. Main Street, Logan 43138, 740/385-2750, explorehockinghills.com

2/3: Vermilion Ice-A-Fair
Vermilion is a haven for boaters and fishermen and has a long nautical history that stretches back to the first half of the 19th century. Come winter, this town along the Lake Erie shore gets a lot quieter, so Janet Ruh and Jeannette Schaefer planned an annual winter party. For a decade, Main Street Vermilion has hosted Ice-A-Fair, a winter celebration that pays homage to this “city of sea captains” through lake-inspired ice sculptures. Guests can board Lolly the Trolley for a ride down Main Street and past the nearly 60 sculptures — all of which are created by Broadview Heights-based Elegant Ice Creations — while a tour guide shares tales from the town’s past. “They get the history part of Vermilion, from the lagoons and Linwood Park to uptown,” says Ruh. Main Street, Vermilion 44089, 440/963-0772, mainstreetvermilion.org

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