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Holiday Stroll to grace Lewistown

‘Non-event’ to take place of Ice Festival from Dec. 4 - 13

Sentinel file photo
Rayna Folk, 8, of Burnham reacts to a large ice sculpture of a triceratops during the 2018 Festival of Ice in downtown Lewistown. The festival this year will be replaced by a holiday stroll event.

River Valley Visitors Bureau will present the Downtown Holiday Stroll from Dec. 4 (First Friday) through Dec. 13.

The stroll is a new “non-event” to welcome the holiday season without creating crowds. The Holiday Stroll will take the place of the 2020 Festival of Ice.

The Festival of Ice is expected to return in 2021.

“Discussions with the ice carvers eventually revealed their reluctance to do in-person carving this year,” visitors bureau director Jenny Landis explained. “That’s what we had hoped to focus on instead of the individually sponsored sculptures.”

But the visitors bureau hasn’t lost its Christmas spirit. The goal this year is to create attractions that will not draw crowds to one spot at the same time. Storefront windows filled with holiday themed displays and student art will be the main draw.

The Visitors Bureau will be developing new contests like the Candy Cane Count and online videos like holiday cooking how-tos. They are also working with Sara Buffington, the Adopt-a-Planter chairman, to create sensational designs to line Market Street.

Storefront displays may be viewed at any time of the day or evening throughout the Stroll timeline. The bureau plans to remove the displays after Dec. 13 unless the participating business would like to keep it through the remainder of the holiday season. The displays will include student art from a variety of public and private schools, and the Merry Mannequins — dress forms decorated like Christmas trees. The front windows of the Historic Courthouse will be decorated by Sandra and Dennis Knapik.

Details can be found on the Festival of Ice-Juniata River Valley Facebook page as well as by calling or emailing the Visitors Bureau: (717) 248-6713 or vbinfo@juniatarivervalley.org.

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