Event plans taking shape

LEWISTOWN -With thermometers hitting the high 80s this week, the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau thought it would be an appropriate time to start talking about ice – the annual Festival of Ice to be specific.

Festival organizers invite anyone interested in getting involved with the planning to attend a public meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29 in the conference room of the Mifflin County Historic Courthouse on Monument Square, Lewistown.

The Festival of Ice, featuring two days and nights of ice sculptures on display amid family-oriented activities, is scheduled for Dec. 4 and 5 in downtown Lewistown.

Organizers are looking to revive some of the new ideas that were planned for last year but weren’t really put to the test due to the rainy weather – such as confining the festivities to the streets adjacent to Monument Square and opening the festival with a “Crazy Parade” of revelers bearing papier mache puppets, streamers and noisemakers.

“We need a full crowd on hand to be sure those layout changes and activity schedules work,” Jenny Landis, festival co-chairman, said.

One big change will be the absence of the Kiwanis Christmas Parade, which had joined the Friday night line-up at the Festival of Ice several years ago. This year the Kiwanis have decided to return the parade to its traditional day, in conjunction with the club’s annual Pancake Festival. The parade will be held at 1 p.m. on Dec. 6.

“With the news that the Kiwanis Christmas Parade will be moved back to Saturday, we have a bit of room and time to add a few new things,” Landis said.

One of those things, she said, is a “Glowing Fun Run,” which festival organizers envision as a foot race featuring glow sticks on every runner.

Also this year, the festival committee is encouraging all participants in every aspect of the event to embrace the retro style of the 1930s-’50s.

“This vintage style is not only fun, it represents one of the most prosperous eras in our county,” Jim Tunall, JRVVB executive director, said. “From leg lamps to poodle skirts, swing music to sock hops, this retro style comes with more than a few activity ideas already built in.”

For more information, contact Landis at the visitor’s bureau at 248-6713.