There were no ice carvers to be seen in downtown Plymouth Saturday afternoon, but plenty of parking spots — both ominous signs given that it was the middle day of the three-day Plymouth Ice Festival.
Record-setting rain and warm temperatures (at least for January) forced Saturday’s agenda to be moved to Sunday, a bummer for Denise and Kay Nikischer, who made the close-to-one-hour trek from Southgate to check out the event.
“It’s our first time down here for this event, so we’re a little disappointed,” said Denise Nikischer. “But you can’t control the weather.”
“On the bright side the traffic was good and there are a lot of places to park, right?” Kay Nikischer quipped. “A lot of the ice sculptures are covered up, so there’s not a lot to see, but we’re going to walk around just in case there are a couple uncovered sculptures.”
Ice Festival organizer James Gietzen said entire-day cancellations have been few and far between throughout the festival’s long history.
“This isn’t the first time events have had to be cancelled due to warm weather and/or rain, but it doesn’t happen often,” he said. “To make up for today, we’re going to try to include all the events from today into tomorrow’s schedule. The weather forecast is much more agreeable for Sunday.”
Here is Sunday’s expanded schedule:
• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Genisys Credit Union Team Carving Competiion;
• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Michigan First Credit Union Petting Farm;
• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Blue Care Network Cross Country Trail;
• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. DTE Energy Foundation Tubing Run;
• 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Vendors will be open on Main Street and in the Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning Hot Spot;
• 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — Genisys Credit Union Individual Carving Competition;
• 3:30 p.m. — IHA Dueling Chainsaws Competition; and
• 7 p.m. — Movies at the Penn: Frozen II.
Visitors are not the only ones bummed out about Saturday’s cancellations. Downtown Plymouth businesses that usually count on a robust sales day are taking a hit.
A worker at the Plymouth Jimmy John’s said business in their store is about what it would be on a normal Saturday compared to an approximate 10-fold increase on a normal Ice Festival Saturday.
One festival visitor summed up the day as he walked away from a rain-dulled sculpture.
“The older we get, the less detail we have,” he said, smiling.
Contact reporter Ed Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-375-1113.
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