Fun, family events have been hard to come by over the past year, but next month, the Delaware County Fairgrounds is set to host just that with Ice Sculpting Masters – Ice World, presented by Rock On Ice. The drive-thru experience, which will feature lit displays incorporating more than 60,000 pounds of sculpted ice, will begin Friday, Feb. 26, and run through Sunday, Feb. 28.
Greg Butauski, owner of the show and a certified master ice sculptor, said the event will include more than 90 sculptures featured in a wide variety of scenes carrying a “winter snowflake” theme. He added that while this year’s event was “born out of COVID,” it will become a yearly event and, hopefully, next year will be more of a traditional festival as opposed to a drive-thru event.
Work on the sculptures began around Christmas, with a crew of six master carvers doing the work, Butauski said. Included in the roster of carvers is Butauski himself, a former world champion and three-time national champion ice sculptor.
February’s event will mark the fourth event in the United States this year for Ice Sculpting Masters, joining previous events in Washington D.C., New York and Cleveland. A Sunbury resident, Butauski said the group has been looking for great venues around the areas in which they live in in order to attract more people.
“Main Street Delaware is important to us, those local businesses down there, and we’re just trying to get more people to come back down to that area,” he said of why Delaware was chosen as a location for the event.
“We hope that everyone comes out,” Butauski added. “Delaware is a great town. What we really want to do is create a big wow factor with these sculptures, and at night, they’re going to be very well-lit. They’ll be colorful and bright, and it’s going to have a lot of different themes for people to enjoy. So, it should touch a wide range of interests.”
Cars will enter the fairgrounds through the U.S. Route 23 gate and will then be directed to the designated route before exiting through one of three exits along Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The fairgrounds is excited to host the Ice Sculpting Masters – Drive-Thru Ice World,” said Sandy Kuhn, general manager of the Delaware County Fair. “After so many events in 2020 being cancelled due to COVID-19 and public health, it is nice to be hosting events again. This being a drive-thru event that is very safe for visitors is a bonus. We hope people from outside our county will come to Delaware, enjoy some fine food and shopping, and then visit the fairgrounds for the ice sculpture drive-thru. It is very unique, and we are optimistic that it will be successful for Rock On Ice and it will become an annual event.”
Tickets will be limited for each night in order to keep the line of cars reasonable. Butauski said he’s trying to find the “sweet spot” in regard to the number of tickets sold in order to allow cars to admire the sculptures at their leisure. Tickets will be sold in hour-long blocks, beginning at 5 p.m. with the last run beginning at 9 p.m. Each car will need only one ticket.
To purchase tickets, visit www.maingatetickets.com/events/view/888.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.