Originally published by The Mountaineer
Ice sculptures dotted the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds creating vast opportunities for photos and fun activities for kids. Though the second annual NC Smokies Ice Fest was threatened by bad weather, it remained a success in the eyes of the attendees.
Adults and children alike enjoyed interactive ice sculptures including cornhole, sledding, hockey and shuffleboard. Other activities included complementary s’mores making accompanied with hot chocolate and live ice sculpture carving by resident artists.
The rain only seemed to elevate some attendees’ enjoyment as they were determined to make a good time out of an unfortunate circumstance. Taren Blue of Greenville, North Carolina was one of those people.
Though it was her first year at Ice Fest, it wasn’t in her original plan to attend. “We were coming in the hopes of snow for snow tubing. We got to do that regardless of the rain and we heard a little bit about Ice Fest online and, well, it was a place to go,” Blue said.
They found the event via Facebook and though they only did the Saturday Ice Fest event they intended to attend Friday events as well. “We were too late for the Waynesville lighting because it is like a five hour drive for us,” Blue said. Though the weather was “terrible” according to Blue, they remained positive, “at least it is a story to tell”.
The Norris family, another first time attendee-family, felt similar to Blue. The family braved the weather with their children to take part in the festivities. The Norris’ from Canton, North Carolina were keeping it local with their visit. They enjoyed sampling the various food trucks the event hosted including locally made fudge.
Outside of the literal damper the rain caused, people who attended Ice Fest seemed to enjoy it. With its many things to do and see there was truly something for everyone.