Ice carvers whipped out their chainsaws and chisels to put together some incredible pieces of art out of large blocks of ice in downtown Perrysburg over the weekend.
Rick Thielen of Downtown Perrysburg Inc., which sponsored the Winterfest, estimated 6,000 to 7,000 people came to the event from Friday through Sunday. There's no way of knowing attendance numbers for sure, but Saturday the sidewalks were full with engaged audiences.
Children were literally jumping up in down in excitement to see SpongeBob SquarePants painted into the snow or to take a photo with Frozen's Queen Elsa. Adults, like my wife and her sister visiting from Chicago, were amazed by watching carvers work.
The carvers melted pieces together with an iron, then placed them together and the pieces froze together nearly immediately. One carver had a tool, a bullet die grinder to be exact, that whittled away the ice. It took him about one minute to transform a plain wolf's face into one with detailed fur lines and eyes.
Some of the more popular carved pieces included a U.S.A. goalie, flying swan, T-Rex skeleton, a worker ant, alligator with an open mouth, and a dolphin. There also were snow designs and paintings that included a waving American flag with the Olympic rings and "USA" in one snow bank, two Despicable Me minions, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Brutus Buckeye mascot, and a dragon with flames coming out of its mouth.
The National Ice Carving Association had officials say they were looking for a place to hold the national championships in one site every year.
Perrysburg put a good foot forward this weekend with a good turnout, and this event should only grow with time.
If it stays in Perrysburg, I know it would continue growing because the folks I saw downtown Saturday were having a great time from children to adults.
My wife Sarah on the right with her sister Jess from Chicago. Those twins loved Despicable Me and the minions.