Bundle up and head for downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan’s 3rd Annual Winter Ice Festival January 26-27! Chainsaws, chisels, and blow torches are the tools of the trade for these award-winning ice sculptors.
Spend a day or two wandering the downtown to see over 50 ice sculptures in front of local businesses. Get your picture taken with a frozen dragon or take advantage of the life-size picture frame.
Finished sculptures are cool, but check out the schedule and watch a live ice carving. One year spectators watched as a carver found Big Foot in a block of ice.
The highlight of the weekend is Saturday night’s ICE WARS! Join the celebration at the corner of Ashmun St. and Portage Ave. at 6:00 pm as two professional ice carvers go head-to-head and each carves a work of art. The winner of round one is determined by the crowd’s boisterous cheers. Yes, they even work in a blinding snowstorm.
While they’re resetting the stage for round two, get your hot cocoa (by donation) or check out the newly-opened North of Chicago Pizza selling pizza by the slice. If you need a warm-up between rounds, step across the street to the United Way bonfire, but don’t forget to come back and see the winner of round one square off against the master carver.
The Downtown Winter Ice Festival makes for a great winter escape, but you could use some of the vacation days you’re saving and turn it into a real winter vacation. Travel to Tahquamenon Falls for an amazing frozen view that’s an adventure all its own.
Kids and adults both thoroughly enjoy the slippery slope of the Sault Seal Recreation Area. Spend a few hours sliding down one of the seven tubing lanes, but don’t forget to fuel your adventure at one of the many restaurants in the Soo.
By this time you’ll be exhausted and need to take advantage of fantastic winter rates at one of the many Sault Ste. Marie hotels. Whichever adventure you decide, be sure to share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and use #ILovetheSoo. You can discover more winter activities by checking out this Pinterest board.