Take water and add below-freezing temperatures, creating a solid block of ice. Find some specialized artists with their chainsaws, handsaws, hair dryers, irons and chisels to carve the ice.  And what you have are the basics for the 2018 Carlisle Century Link Ice Art Fest on February 9 to 11.

Last year 42 ice sculptures were placed around the downtown.  This year there will be more than 70. You can look them over, marvel at how they’re carved and then take ‘selfies’ with your friends and ice favorites. Most sculptures will be pre-carved then delivered to their downtown locations. However, you can also witness actual live ice sculpture carving on Dickinson Avenue on Saturday at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Two highlights include the “ice throne” at the Square (sponsored by Century Link) and the working “ice bar” located just a half block away on the outdoor patio at Comfort Suites.

But there will be so much more to see and do in downtown Carlisle throughout the weekend. Highlights include:

  • Three comedy improv shows on Friday night. A family-friendly performance begins at 7:00 pm at The Vault followed by two adult-only shows scheduled for 8:30 and 10:00 pm.
  • Food vendors will be serving on South Court House Avenue Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Catch a carriage ride in the first block of South Pitt Street.
  • Participate in the digital scavenger hunt during the three-day celebration.
  • Stay warm at the PNC chili cook-off which also offers beer tastings on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • Check out the glass-blowing demonstrations and workshops on West Pomfret Street on Friday, noon to 9:00 pm; Saturday, noon to 8:00 pm; and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • For the little ones, Snow Sisters will lead a sing-along at The Square at noon on Saturday and then move to The Vault for a meet and greet until 2:30 p.m.  They return to The Square at noon on Sunday for another sing along followed by a chocolate buffet at The Vault.
  • On Saturday evening, watch an energetic dance performance by REACH or enjoy live music by the Keating Jazz Orchestra.
  • Free family-friendly movies at The Carlisle Theatre on Sunday afternoon.
  • A diamond dig at Marjorie’s Gems on Sunday.

For a list of all activities, the day, time and locations, and whether there is a charge, please go to www.iceartfest.com.

If you are looking for more information about things to see and do in the Cumberland Valley, stop by our Visitors Center on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm for free brochures and maps.