WinterFest Events to Include Fashion Show, Ice Stroll, Ice Carving and More Jan. 28-31

Published Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration.

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration. Emby Taylor Photography.

The folks behind Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest celebration are gearing up for a four-day weekend of super cool fun, which will include some wintry new events this year that will have you excited to be out and about.

Read below to get the scoop on the winter fashion show and the brand new events featuring Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale. Visit blowingrockwinterfest.com for a full schedule of events for the weekend.

Fashion Show — Friday, Jan. 29

Can’t get enough of shopping in Blowing Rock? Check out the Winter Fashion Show from 11 a.m. to noon at Meadowbrook Inn to enjoy a hot lunch and get your fashion fix.

Doncaster’s Ellen Cooley will be on hand to emcee the show.

“It’s really informative. One of the things I learned last year is that turquoise is a color that looks good on nearly everyone,” Blowing Rock Chamber Events Director Billie Rogers said. “Last year she taught us how to pack for seven days in a carry-on bag.”

This year, Cooley will teach us about the key pieces we all need in our closets for the upcoming spring.

“She’s very practical, and it always applies to the average person,” said Rogers. “It’s not just about what you’re wearing to a fancy dinner, but it’s for the things that we do every day.”

The show will feature fine ladies’ apparel from shops including Doncaster, Monkees, TazMaRaz, Almost Rodeo Drive, Celeste’s, JW Tweeds, Take Heart, Sister Act and Sunset Tees and Hattery.

“We’ve got such great little stores here in the High Country, and we want to remind people that they don’t have to go to Charlotte or Hickory or Winston to purchase what they need,” Rogers said. “We pretty much have everything you need up here. Buy local!”

Tickets for the fashion show are just $27 per person. Call 828-295-4300 for more information.

WinterFest Ice Stroll — Friday, Jan. 29

The WinterFest tradition has for many years included ice-sculpting demonstrations, but there are a few new twists on this popular event in 2016 that you don’t want to miss.

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration.

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration. Emby Taylor Photography.

Charlotte-based Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale of Artisan Ice Sculptures is working on some awesome, one-of-a-kind pieces designed to reflect the character of downtown Blowing Rock. His series of commissioned pieces will each represent a business in town, and they’ll all be on display by noon for you to enjoy while you shop.

“He is carving them in Charlotte and he will bring them up here and install them or display them in front of the businesses that have purchased them,” said Rogers. “The businesses get to be as creative as they want in the carving.”

Each sculpture will show off the unique qualities that each business brings to the village, and many of them will be interactive.

“It’s going to provide people with free entertainment. Everybody loves to look at carved ice because it’s an amazing art form,” said Rogers.

Dale, who boasts 20 years of ice carving experience, said each single-block sculpture will be carved from a 300 lb block of ice.

“The shapes will all be a little different based on the design. Some businesses are doing their company logos in ice and others are really going outside of the box,” he said. “They are certainly something you don’t see all of the time. It kind of brings an exotic element from another part of the world when you’re walking down the street and there are ice sculptures everywhere.”

At First Citizens Bank, check out a piggy bank carved out of ice with pennies and coins frozen inside, and see if you can guess how much money’s inside.

Stop by to have a drink made with the luge inside a frozen English phone booth at Six Pence Pub.

Take your photo with an icy Mona Lisa at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum or make the news and grab a picture inside a glistening T.V. set at SouthMarke.

Play a game of corn hole on a frozen set of boards with Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

Several other establishments are working with Dale to finalize their creative concepts.

“How many people can say they’ve had their picture made inside of a television? It’s something fun that you can post on social media and get attention from all of your friends. It just shows you’re having a good time, and everybody wants to have a good time.”

The ice art will only last as long as the weather allows, so make sure you get there to see them on Saturday.

Ice Carving in Action — Saturday, Jan. 30

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration.

Certified Master Ice Carver Travis Dale leads an ice carving demonstration. Emby Taylor Photography.

Also new to WinterFest this year will be the inaugural Southeast Regional Invitational Collegiate Ice Carving Competition, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday in Memorial Park.

“We have teams of culinary students who are coming to show their creativity with the art of ice,” Rogers said. “It’s an open time frame and we think they’ll be finished around 4 p.m.”

Breeze by to see how the progress is going, go enjoy some of the other activities and then head back to the park to see the finished products.

“People just love art, and this is one that you don’t get to see very often. This is actually watching the art form from start to finish,” said Rogers. “You get to watch them turn it into something you can’t even draw on paper, and this man has carved it out with a chainsaw. It’s absolutely amazing.”

You’ll also get to see Dale at work during ice carving demonstrations.

“It’s exciting to see somebody with a chainsaw carving ice,” Dale said. “Tie that into a carnival or festival where there are a lot of people and the art aspect of it, which really fits into this community, and it’s pretty cool.”

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