Ice, Ice, Baby

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Leave it to Michigan to take any situation, good or bad, and turn it into an opportunity for a festival.

The very latest? The Plymouth Ice Festival, a weekend-long occasion dedicated to the celebration of winter (or so I'm told). Coincidentally, the Plymouth Ice Festival opened last Friday, when "arctic air" (a term continuously mentioned on the local weather station) and snow decided to settle in for the biggest chill we've had so far this year. Normally, I'm not one for cold, but this event sure was a pick-me-up that helped distract from our chilly Saturday evening outdoors.

When Brad, our friends (Renee and Lynn), and I arrived in Plymouth, the whole downtown area was crowded with cars and people--and for good reason. Scads of small shops and trees adorned in Christmas lights paved the way to a large, public circle, where scads of people gathered for ice sculpting festivities, food, and live music. It was almost like stepping into a real-life Stars Hollow.

**Sidenote:** This was my favorite store window on the way to the festival. My friend, Renee, and I both decided that we needed this dress. White for her, since she's getting married, and blue for me because, well--I would just really enjoy having it. And the shoes:

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Ooh, la-la.

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Ice sculptures lining a big circle around the middle of the downtown area.

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Food booths. Sometimes, it's hard to concentrate when the great outdoors smells like pizza and cinnamon.
After watching a showdown between two ice sculpturists to see who could craft the best motor vehicle in a small amount of time, we made our way over to a heated tent (genius!) and found the Patch booth. There, I found Rebecca Jaskot (Novi Patch editor) and Nicole Krawcke (Brighton Patch editor). After blogging for Novi Patch for almost two months now, I was delighted to meet these two ladies in person! We chatted for a few minutes, and they were nice enough to satisfy my freebie addiction with a tote bag and water bottle (I also swiped a magnet before I left, but only because my refrigerator needed some Patch pride, too!).

Patch goodies--thanks, Rebecca and Nicole!

I would have stayed in the heated tent all evening, but there were way too many people in a too-tight area, so we made one last round to look at the ice sculptures. You'd be surprised by what can be done with a chainsaw and a blow torch.

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U.S.A.! Whoop, whoop!

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Love this one.

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An upside-down robot (with broken leg) and a snow-covered high-heel.

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Bzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Check this out: it's a huge fire pit/fireplace--made out of ice! Tell me, how do they think of these things?
And, of course, we couldn't leave without posing with some of the interactive ice displays. While kids climbed on dinosaurs and stood behind ice news anchor desks, Brad and I were busy cheesing behind sculptures with face cutouts and sitting on meltable benches.

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Cozy on an ice bench, red noses and all.
I don't yet know what's in store for this weekend, but after six months as an official Michigander, I can safely say that weekend activities are not in short supply around here.