Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

GR Crystal Classic to take place this weekend


Impressive and artistic sculptures, carved from solid blocks of ice, will await residents when they visit Expedition Island this weekend.

The 2016 Crystal Classic Winter Festival takes place Friday and Saturday at the island. While the ice carving is the most visible of the festival's activities, a number of other events will take place as well. Many activities are aimed at all ages, while some are aimed at the adults. Many activities are also free to attend.

"It's a very family-based event," recreation supervisor Katie Duncombe said. "We try to appeal to a wide array of people."

A new event Duncombe is excited for this year that the festival is premiering are the interactive ice sculptures. The interactive ice sculptures will be games made out of ice. There will be a bean-bag toss and a corn hole game. The two game ice sculptures feature Charles Schultz' Snoopy and Olaf from the movie "Frozen."

Some other interactive family invents include the ice cube hunt, the scavenger hunt, and the Chili Willie Art Stations located inside the pavilion.

There will be three art stations, making popsicle snow flakes, condensed milk painting and cue tip/pom pom painting. There will be a magician's performance, as well as a free Smores station.

Duncombe said the popular festival events are returning this year as well. The soup cook-off will return on Friday night. People attending the festival can come inside and warm up with some hot soup Friday evening, and vote on their favorite soup. Duncombe said so far there are six or seven competitors.

"This was really popular with the public," she said. "It's fun; come in and taste."

Also going on Friday is the People's Choice Art Competition. Carving starts at 4:30 p.m. and festival attendees can vote on their favorite ice carver at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday is the officially sanctioned ice carving competition, commencing at 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

"Ice carving is a unique thing for the area," Duncombe said. "It really is the meat and potatoes of the event."

Continuing the fun into evening, the ice-bar will be open Friday, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This, in itself, is another ice sculpture. It is an actual bar made out of ice.

Local band "Nowhere Fast" will provide live music entertainment while the ice-bar is open Friday and will D.J. for the festival Saturday.

Duncombe said there will be more food vendors this year as well, inside and out.

"Because there are so many different things to do, the festival appeals to many people, and it's a great way to get out in the winter," Duncombe said. "It's a lot of work, but it's so fun."


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