True Michiganders are used to the cold, and in downtown Plymouth, they celebrate it. Despite the blistering cold temperatures, hundreds of winter-lovers flock to Plymouth Ice Festival, and this year was no exception.

“The festival’s been going on for 33 years,” said event coordinator James Gietzen. “After 33 years, people just can’t stay away.”

The scent of sweet, warm almonds wafts through the chilly air as onlookers gaze at the numerous ice sculptures that dot the Plymouth town square.

“The eagles [sculptures] were really cool,” said Kayleigh Damon. “So were the ‘Frozen’ ones. I really liked Olaf.”

“The sheer size [of Plymouth Ice Festival] is one of the biggest in North America,” said ice sculptor Jeffrey Lao. “The sheer amount of ice you’re looking at, there’s really nothing like it.”

“Ice carving is an art form,” said James Gietzen. “And it should be celebrated.”

Besides embracing the frosty atmosphere and observing the icy art, the festival featured chainsaw duels, wooden carvings and a warming tent for those who felt a little too nippy.

James Gietzen didn’t spend much time in the tent, but seeing the success of his event definitely made him feel very warm and fuzzy.

“Inside it makes me really happy,” said Gietzen. “You put a lot of work into something like this and you get to sit back and relax and stand on the corner and watch people walk by and ‘ooo and aah.'”

The Street Team had a blast and looks forward to next year’s festival. They also want to congratulate Mary Bashi and Chris Kas-Marogi on their engagement.


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