To the editor:
With the 17th annual Festival of Ice behind us, we can stop and reflect (while we dry off) on the importance of community spirit and how it helps to create a vibrant society. Even through the pouring rain, people from all corners of Central PA came out to see the beauty of the 40-plus ice sculptures, the excitement of activity around Monument Square and the joy of the holiday season.
The Juniata River Valley Visitor's Bureau thanks the many local companies, both large and small, that sponsored ice sculptures, activities or donated in-kind services. With the exception of a small grant from the PA Council on The Arts, funding for this event is provided by these ice sculpture sponsors: Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, Juniata Valley Bank, Walmart, Majik Rentals & Sales, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and School, Downtown OIP, J.P. Edward's, Big Valley Area Business Association, Boyer & Ritter CPA, Brookmere Winery, Chestnut Manor B&B, Corvette America, Dr. Colleen McCusker Optometry/Honey Creek Bill & Beak, Drayer Physical Therapy, The EADS Group, First Energy Corp., First National Bank, First Quality Baby Products, Glick's Shoe Store, Going Postal, Home Nursing Agency Healthcare, In Home Services of Central PA, Kish Valley National Bank, Mifflin County Savings Bank, McDonald's/Barrett Enterprises, Mifflin County Industrial Development Corp., MERF Radio, Metzler's Forest Products, Northwest Consumer Discount, Northwest Savings Bank, Penn State Lewistown Center, Quality Inn, Rich Coast Coffee/Extrava Market, Seven Mountains Medical Center, Sheetz Inc. Store No. 158, South Hills School of Business and Technology, The Sentinel, The Stewardship Group, Trolley Car Cafe, West Side Gallery, Wilson's Gifts & Jewelry, Gus's Pizza, One Stop Communications, Mount Nittany Health.
Thanks also to the following volunteers who either stepped up or were cajoled into committing time to develop the new as well as the familiar aspects of this year's event: Tim and Nancy Collins and the Granville United Methodist Church, Diane Cowen Ruth and her miniature donkeys, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, St. John's Lutheran Church, Juniata Valley Bank, Robert Lepley Electric, RB Powell, HHC 2-112th IN STRYKER-PA National Guard Unit of Lewistown, and The Paper Mache Posse.
Our last thank you goes to all of the intrepid souls who braved the weather to see and/or staff the festival. Saturday's snowstorm knocked over the four large sculptures that survived the rain but the Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital Glacier Sliding Board is fully operational. Stop by the Historic Courthouse and let the kids try it out.
Plans for next year will start next spring when we will round up the Paper Mache Posse to create new puppets for the Opening Procession. Want to help? Find the Festival of Ice Facebook page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All crafty people 13 years and older are welcome to help.