We didn't miss it this year! We were so on the ball, in fact, that we started our afternoon sampling coffee at Cups Cafe before walking to the townsquare for Medina's Ice Festival.
Our friends, Mike & Connie Mouser, manned the tasting table. Mike talked beans with the folks who came out for a hot cup, and Connie served palate-cleansing sorbet and warm hugs. After a few rounds of French Roast and fair trade Columbian, we bought some Cups Cafe swag and two bags of whole bean, and made our way to the main event. Snow flirted with us most of the day, but never committed.
Lining the perimeter of the square stood pre-made ice sculptures on platforms, draped in American flags. My favorite ones were the pineapple representing a local grocery store, and the mailbox representing a local newspaper. The grass inside the square was decorated with professional carvers and their chainsaws molding ornate creations out of ice blocks. We saw hummingbirds, horses and dolphins.. and a cotton candy-colored sculpture shaped like The Pink Panther. Children crowded the gazebo for pictures with an ice penguin, and locals of all ages sat on a gigantic ice bench on Court Street. A sidewalk illusionist named Ray Raymond kept passerbys entertained, while we stood in line at the cupcake shop.
Thanks to a bipolar winter, all that remains now are broken chunks of ice and melted artistry.
It was good while it lasted.