Logan Frozen Festival success despite the warmer temperatures
Despite the warm weather Saturday, the Logan Frozen Festival was well attended as the crowds walked up and down Main Street enjoying the ice sculptures and pleasant atmosphere.
There is no way to know just how many people visited the downtown area, but the estimate is high. Most of the visitors were from right here in Logan, and it gives those on the revitalization project hope for the future.
“This is an important step toward revitalizing a downtown, is getting people interested, and the best way to do that is to give the people something fun to do,” Karen Raymore, Executive Director of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association (HHTA) said.
Main Street was lined with ice sculptures, provided by Rock On Ice, from the corner of North Walnut Street to Gallagher Avenue. The sculptures were sponsored by local businesses and organizations and featured a variety of designs.
There were a total of 36 sponsored sculptures featured throughout downtown, and the designs ranged from a simple Toral arrangement to complex scenes. As the festival was named “Frozen,” the movie was featured throughout the day with songs and four sculptures; Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and the ice castle could be found along Main Street.
Many of the activities were focused in the middle of downtown in or near Worthington Park, but there were multiple things to do from end to end.
In Worthington Park, there was music, an ice picture frame, an ice throne, and two games of ice corn hole. Facing Main Street, there was also a sculpture built around a Tame. In the street between the Park and the courthouse, the Rock On Ice artists created an additional 10 sculptures throughout the day.
A repeat feature from last year’s Ice Extravaganza was a picture frame, featuring the snow globe image and the year (2017) on the bottom of the frame. In addition, Rock On Ice created a throne from a number of ice blocks and covered the seat so that it wouldn’t be too wet or cold. Also new were two sets of ice corn hole, which were set up on either end of the Park.
Near the Logan-Hocking County District Library, the old Chieftain Spirits building was home to a pop-up shop that featured art for sale made by local artisans. Many of the artists that were featured on Saturday usually sell their creations through the Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge; with the loss of the lodge, this was a big help.
On the other end of Main Street, the Washboard Factory was open for tours, and the Backcountry Barbeque truck was set up in the parking lot. Across the street, the Wood Butcher, normally housed at the Rockbridge Flea Market, was providing chainsaw sculpture demonstrations.
A little after noon, the Bicentennial Queen Alyssa Daubenmire and first runner-up Kalie Roach were each presented with a check for their education in front of the gazebo. Neil Campbell, HHTA Bicentennial Queen Committee Chairman, presented the checks of $500 and $400, respectively.
The girls attended a number of events throughout the Bicentennial year, such as Ag Days; the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival; Hocking County Fair Opening Ceremony; Logan Veteran’s Day Parade; Flag Day observance; Washboard Music Festival; Logan Christmas Parade; Lancaster Christmas Parade; Stockport Firemen’s Festival; Logan Community Picnic; and the Malta’s Bicentennial Celebration.
Roger Shaw provided his own version of “fire and ice” in Shaw Block for those passing by to enjoy two small ares, hot chocolate, hot dogs and marshmallows while admiring the ice sculptures that were placed along the wall and street.
“Shaw corner was a lot of family fun,” Raymore said. “Roger Shaw and the other businesses that participated did a great job.”
There were a number of performances throughout the day featuring local artists and the Logan-Hocking School District choirs. Piano Works and the Appalachian Listening Room were both open to visitors, while entertained by the musical group Square Thirteen, a popular Americana band from Lancaster. The Appalachian Listening Room is a new addition, and features monthly performances of local artists.
Michelle Houst, the author who visited four of the ave elementary schools in the Logan-Hocking School District this past week, was also in Piano Works selling and signing her books.
“I can’t thank the schools enough,” Houst commented. “The interest in Grandma Gatewood was incredible, especially since they can picture the trail living here in the Hocking Hills. I wanted to focus on their own writing experiences, and it was a great experience.”
Houst is the author of When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike, which is an illustrated book telling the story of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood who became the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail solo at the age of 67, among other books. During her presentations with the students, this book was used as a tool to engage the students in anding their own writing process.
The Hocking County Courthouse was alive with music beginning at 12:30 with a string ensemble led by Kathy and Jeff Crisler. The five instrumentalists filled the space with light music in a variety of pieces. Kathy Crisler played flute; Jeff Crisler, viola; Darlene Barrett, cello; Suzanne Rauch-Wittman, violin; and Elizabeth Miller, keyboard.
Shortly after 1 p.m., the Logan Middle School Choir performed a number of pieces as led by Zane Murrey and accompanied by Susan Kendig. This mixed choir is one of five of the Middle School choirs that includes grades six, seven, and eight. In addition to these, there is an all-girls choir, and the dance choir. In total, there are 165 students that participate in the choir program.
At 2:30 p.m., half of the High School Chamber Choir performed in the stairwell of the courthouse. Led by director John McClain and accompanied by assistant choir director Gretchen Weber, the choir performed a range of pieces and featured three student solos.
Juniors Abby Reeves and Jarrod Turnbull, and senior Aries Ametsreiter were all featured in different pieces during the performance.
Artista Productions, the newest theatre group in town, was providing free face painting in front of the old Emporium building to help promote the shows that were presented Saturday evening. The evening featured a pre show performance of Jack Frost and Elsa the Snow Queen, and main performances by Jesse Russell, John McClain, and special guests.
There is no celebration without food, and there was plenty to go around. In addition to the Shaw Block hot dogs and marshmallows, the Main Street restaurants were open for business, and there were two additional food trucks: Backcountry Barbeque and Chef Moe on the Go.
This past weekend, the 2017 Comfort Food Cruise was in full swing, bringing visitors downtown to the festivities, as well. Maya Burrito, M&M Family Diner, and Pizza Crossing are all featured on the Cruise, and patrons were enjoying a leisure walk from restaurant to restaurant past the ice sculptures. The celebration ended with a flash mob by the Hocking County Children’s Chorus, led by director Therese Karnes. Chorus members, and some parents, gathered in the area between Worthington Park and the courthouse to begin their choreographed dance, much to the surprise of the crowd, to a medley of Frozen songs.
After completing the medley, which properly ended with “Let It Go,” the kids encouraged the crowd to join them in a second dance, which many did. “As a community, we really came together for this event, and look how much fun everybody had. Just great, family fun,” Raymore concluded.