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After a year with virtually no snow (winter 2011/2012) – or even much cold, we in Southeastern Michigan are truly getting paid back by ‘old man Winter.’ We’ve seen the coldest temperatures in at least four years, and the return of snow. The photos below show our yard during the holidays.
Winter can have its fun side. Michigan has the most miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the United States. That activity is definitely on my “bucket list.” I understand that there are inns and restaurants that are strategically built along certain of the larger, more traveled trails. That sounds like fun to me! There are other activities like ice fishing, skiing (cross country, mostly; but there are also several ski ‘mountains’ in the state), snowshoeing, and skating.
One of the prettiest spectacles every year is the Plymouth Ice Festival. It is held in the pretty town of Plymouth (imagine that), Michigan which is in the Detroit Metropolitan area. The Ice Festival is held on the third weekend of every January. This year we visited on Saturday. The weather was unusually warm (into the 40s). Normally, that would be welcome in a year where we’ve already had temperatures below zero Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, those temperatures are not so welcome when you are carving and displaying ice sculptures.
The festival encompasses the entire village, but the main display area is in the town square. This is where the competition takes place. There are teams from local universities. For example, the team below is from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE)!
Local businesses sponsor carvers, also. In some instances, they are placed in the square for judging. In other cases, they are displayed outside the local business. One of the most interesting displays was the ‘Ice Bar’ outside a local restaurant.
One of the few artists who probably didn’t mind the temperatures was this fellow who was using his chainsaw to carve wood. I really liked his work. The photos below show some of his sculptures. What do you think? There are some excellent chainsaw sculptors in our region. We actually have two works by an artist from Mikado, Michigan at our home. I’ll show you those in a later post.
Up Next: More Michigan Winter Fun