By Paul T. Choate
Jan. 24, 2013. The United States Army Special Forces Ice Carving Team will be participating in Blowing Rock’s Winterfest for the second year and the team will also be carving out a special gift for Green Park Inn.
“These are serious ice carvers,” said Lorry Mulhern, Green Park Inn general manager. “They have been in competitions all over the country. They have worked with master ice carvers and apprentices.”
The team will be offering special demonstrations of their skills from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Memorial Park in Blowing Rock as part of Winterfest. But that’s not all. They will be calling Green Park Inn their home base while in Blowing Rock and creating a 23-foot ice bar complete with ice shot glasses for Green Park Inn.
The team will be on hand on both Friday and Saturday evenings to meet with customers and discuss their craft.
Work began on the ice bar, or “luge,” early this morning and Mulhern said she expects them to have it completed by tomorrow afternoon.
Mulhern was contacted prior to last year’s Winterfest by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce about accommodations for the team and their families and she welcomed them in with open arms. This will be the team’s second year calling Green Park their home base.
“I personally think that you can never do enough for our military,” Mulhern said. “When our country called, they said yes. So we’re thrilled they’re coming and want to do this ice bar for us.”
“As soon as I met [Chief Warrant Officer 3] Jeff Lein, who is the team leader, I had such a huge amount of respect for him,” Mulhern said. “Ultimately, I met the rest of his team that year and decided that, when they’re in Blowing Rock, that Green Park is their home.”
Green Park Inn will also be holding a “Winterfest Wine Tasting” on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Mulhern said there will be approximately 60 different wines for connoisseurs to choose from during the tasting.
Just for the record, the ice bar the team is carving is being created from 14 massive blocks of ice that are 40 inches tall, 10 inches thick and 20 inches wide. Mulhern said Blowing Rock Country Club has been assisting with storing the huge quantities of ice.