(La Porte, IN) - A fresh blanket of snow added just the right touch to La Porte’s annual Winter Fest, and beautiful ice sculptures now adorn Plaza 618 like crystal jewels.
On Friday afternoon ice sculptors unveiled their creations at the corner of Lincolnway and Monroe.
Howard Busfield of South Bend was one of the carvers. He created a pinball machine and a ticket booth. “We had somewhat of a circus theme today,” he said. Other sculptures include a lion, circus wagon, and a juggler. “It’s actually a little warm for carving,” Busfield said, as temperatures hovered around freezing. “But everything should hold up for people to see it.”
Busfield has been carving ice for about 18 years. But Matt Patton is new to the craft. “This is my second weekend,” said Patton as he was packing up his tools. “I carved one last weekend, and this is my second one. I’m a lot happier with this one than the first one. So far everyone has been able to tell what it is, so that’s a good thing.”
Patton carved an elephant on a ball. He works for City’s Pure Ice, which provides the raw material for the sculptures. NIPSCO and Full Tilt Arcade also sponsored the ice carving.
City’s Pure Ice owner Bud Lies, a longtime ice carver himself, sat this year out nursing an arm injury. But he found a protégé in Patton. “Last week he was guiding me and coaching me," said Paton of his mentor. "He lets me know when the carvings are coming up and where to be, and I’m looking forward to getting better each time.”
The carved ice is on display at Plaza 618 in downtown La Porte.