The town was hopping, people were shopping, and we enjoyed the excellent cold weather festivities! As we walked through huge crowds in the historic section of Frederick Maryland's downtown, we quickly noticed that the cars were filling up the roads. Yes sir, the amount of strolling people on the sidewalks was much larger than usual. That is due to the February 'Fire In Ice!' event presented by the Downtown Frederick Partnership. One of the biggest First Saturday events of the year and what great luck to find ourselves here tonight! Wow! We were off to enjoy the ice sculptures!
Thankfully the weather was mild compared to the freezing weather we have been enduring. We loved how the ice sculptures looked radiant with their icy sparkle and shine. When the sun sets, the skies darken, and the city lights come on. The ice begins to reflect surrounding colors, and the night's magic begins. The stunning ice swan below was one of my two very favorites of the night! Love love love it! So graceful and regal! This one got quite a bit of attention from the crowds with lots of phones snapping up a photo op. There is actually a little girl in a pink coat on the other side of the swan giving it that hot color pop.
When walking along Carroll Creek by the frozen water we came upon a series of ice signs... ice advertisements? Uh where were the sculptures? Seemed like this would have been the ideal spot to showcase some great ice art. Hmmmm... we are moving on. Hoping to find some real ice sculptures along the streets of town, we then found this sledding penguin hanging out on a street corner.
Then we spied a happy waving lobster! Alright! Nice! We got some real ice sculptures!
There was a swimming fish that looked similar to a past year's fish sculpture we have seen.
Check out the sculpture below! I absolutely loved this fantastic lonely goat ice sculpture! This is my other most favorite ice sculpture of the evening! Look at the handsome details! The pointy long horns were exquisite. Plus being a Capricorn I thought it was a sensational idea for a gorgeous ice sculpture!
Sitting quietly on the Market and Church Street's corner we found this sweet little snowflake.
At the Market and Patrick Street corner was a chilly pineapple ice sculpture.
As the afternoon light became the evening glow the ice began to reflect its surrounding colors and lights. Notice how you can see right through this ice cameo to the people chatting on the other side.
The nationally known restaurant 'Volt' was hosting a lively family friendly fire pit roasted marshmallow party in their courtyard for kids and adults. Since I was really interested in viewing the spectacular old mansion from other angles we strolled right in. I am sure someday we will have a great meal in this famed foodie destination! For now let's enjoy the great outdoor space.
Adult peeps were lined up in the Volt courtyard to get drinks served from a whiskey bar ice sculpture.
The front entrance to 'Volt'... I could stare at those luscious architectural details all day!
Close to those grand front entrance steps 'Volt' had a colorful Maryland flag ice sculpture on display.
Next up we passed an ice fairy chillin' in front of a warm shop window.
Speaking of shops we did go inside and enjoy a few that night. We went into one of my all-time fav stores for kitchen decor "Relish" and chatted with the owner Hallie. I have a number of her cool vintage retro pieces at home. Then hubby and I crossed the street and bought some non-toxic deodorants in 'Terressentials.' Both shops are located on Patrick St.
We also checked out two new-to-us establishments downtown. The 'Treaty General Store' where we purchased a vintage style recycled piece of glassware. Then we wandered through an amazing vintage Industrial Home decor store where I took hubby's photo near a huge spotlight floor lamp. No surprise that when walking down Market St., I peered into the rock shop 'Earthly Elements' longing to own all of the huge amethysts and crystals in the window!
There was a shamrock in front of Bushwaller's Irish Pub of course.
Then we saw an ice sculpture on Market Street representing world peace that I actually wish was a permanent addition to the town... perhaps one made from glass!
In front of the jewelry store there was a great big shiny diamond.
We also saw this big black Cadillac hearse parked in front of a cake shop called Cakes To Die For. Peering into their shop window there was many a goth looking cake on their shelves.
On the walk to our non-funeral style car we passed this familiar floating head below...
and then this trippy head in front of Zebop's groovy shop... and so we kept truckin'.
Back at Carroll Creek there was a line of folks waiting to get their photo taken sitting on this 'Ice Throne' which I thought was a great idea. The Queen would have loved for her photo to be taken on this cold hard love seat since it was near to Valentines Day... Alas being that we were really hungry we did not want to wait in line and fight the photo op crowd at that moment. Maybe next year I will sit upon thine icy throne!
We began to discuss that during the evening we noticed there were more 'typographic ice sign ads' for businesses than artistic 3D objects d'art sculptures. That is disappointing and sad as each sign is one less opportunity for a creative ice sculpture in my mind. To be honest we were we not the only ones who observed the blatant advertising signage pretending to be sculpture. We heard others sarcastically faking their "Oh's and Ahh's" as they passed these ice signs and then adding a few unsavory comments to boot. The people's opinion was that the ads were a lame excuse for sculpture. Kind of a fake out.
I do understand that this special evening is to bring shoppers into downtown during the slow winter months so I hope everyone did a brisk business. I just don't want the organizers to lose sight of what brings all the folks like us out on cold winter's nights en mass... actually getting to view real three dimensional ice sculpture. Let's support more inventive ice creations by ice sculpture artists for everyone to enjoy while they shop and dine. Moving forward into the future of 'Fire In Ice' night hopefully there are less of these ad signs. It can only give the event a bad name to just have ice advertising. Stores may lose those crowds since there will be nothing left to see and that would be a real meltdown of a good thing. "Art not ads"...
I feel at this point if I posted photos of those 'store name ice signs' it would actually be bad publicity for them. So I will finish with only one photo of a ice sign because it is a worthy group which supports the arts in Frederick. I previously shared this same event in 2013 here on the blog when we came across the ice sculptures on a Sunday. Even as they began to slightly melt, you can see the shape of the ice sculpture art reflected the shop's main business activity, and they were not a lettered sign molded from ice.
Overall we had a wonderful evening strolling through the historic downtown area that we love so much, and we were very grateful that we stumbled upon such a cool event once again. We had tried to dine at some of the downtown restaurants that evening as well. Woefully we found out it would be a two hour wait without having previously made reservations for 'Fire In Ice' night. Lesson... next year make reservations ahead of time! Since with all that walking we really had worked up an appetite we headed to our car to purchase food at Wegman's Food Store and bring it home to eat. Through the car window we passed two wonderfully executed ice sculptures on East St. of a bird, and a butterfly. Wish we had gotten photos of those two lovely piece of art for you! Once again the serendipity of being there during this 'First Saturday' in February for 'Fire In Ice' was perfect. Thank you Frederick for all that you do to make life fun!