ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Festival of Carved Ice Sculptures - Franklin on Ice

Updated on December 8, 2016
Source
The author shares some love with an ice dolphin sponsored by First United National Bank.
The author shares some love with an ice dolphin sponsored by First United National Bank. | Source

A Winter Festival

In the gray of a northwest Pennsylvania winter somewhere between the post-holiday lethargy and the anticipation of spring, one town has found a way to beat the winter blues.

Franklin on Ice is an annual ice carving festival where sculptors turn blocks of ice into frozen statuaries.

Depending on the weather, this event can draw up to 4000 attendees anxious to see unique artisans at work.

Upon entering Fountain Park where the main event is held, carved sculptures (clowns, disco dancers, sea animals, musical instruments, people, and many more) line the sidewalks each with its own local sponsor. Unique and fascinating, every carving is a testament to its architect.

This sculpture, sponsored by Joy Manufacturing,  is in honor of Art DiMartino who founded DiMartino Ice in 1968.  Art worked for Fisher Body, a division of General Motors for 40 years. The carriage is the Fisher Body logo.
This sculpture, sponsored by Joy Manufacturing, is in honor of Art DiMartino who founded DiMartino Ice in 1968. Art worked for Fisher Body, a division of General Motors for 40 years. The carriage is the Fisher Body logo. | Source

DiMartino Ice Company - a "Group of Pros"

The ice sculptures are created by DiMartino Ice, a company from Jeanette Pennsylvania whose roots are in packaged ice. Founded in 1968 by Art DiMartino, the ice company is now owned by son, Ernie. Ernie, whose high school art teacher told him he had "no artistic ability" introduced ice sculptures to the business 10 - 15 years ago. He learned the skill in the late 1980s from a chef friend, John McIntosh, who currently resides in Franklin.

The ideas for the sculptures, according to DiMartino, come from "anywhere". "Anywhere" includes brainstorming sessions among company sculptors, ideas from customers and exchanges of ideas with other artists in the field. Sometimes ideas are quite by surprize such as what DiMartino calls "interactive sculptures." The company noticed that people like sculptures they can interact with, sit on, pose for a picture on. With this in mind, DiMartino is working on its next interactive scultpure - an ice sliding board.

The company still produces packaged ice and creates their own ice blocks utilizing a Clinebell ice block maker. "We pride ourselves in making all of our ice perfectly clear," says DiMartino who notes there is a certain amount of care to get such clarity. Each block weighs 265 pounds and, according to DiMartino, is pure enough to eat.

DiMartino Ice, according to Ronnie Beith, Events & Marketing Coordinator for the City of Franklin, "...are a great group of pros who give 100% to the success of the event."

History of the Event

According to Beith, "The original event was a sanctioned Nation Ice Competition Association (NICA) event sponsored by the former Franklin Club." The club's former manager and Randy Rupert (chef and pro ice carver) managed the event in 1996. "The NICA sanctioned event was huge," said Beith, "and brought in carvers from across the nation." Rupert had gained notoriety after he was hired by the directors of the movie Groundhog Day to sculpt the carvings used in the movie. In 1998, the Franklin Fine Arts Council (FFAC) took over the ice sculpting event now known as "Franklin on Ice".

DiMartino Ice apprentice Thomas Arone, 17,  competes in the timed carving competition.
DiMartino Ice apprentice Thomas Arone, 17, competes in the timed carving competition. | Source
Joe DiMartino, winner of the Franklin on Ice 2013 ice carving competition, is a nephew of owner Ernie DiMartino.
Joe DiMartino, winner of the Franklin on Ice 2013 ice carving competition, is a nephew of owner Ernie DiMartino. | Source

Ice Carving Competition

A highlight of the event is the timed carving competition. Five carvers are arranged at different ice blocks throughout the park and the timed competition begins. We chose to watch one sculptor as he completed an ornate fish. Rosy cheeks and numb toes could not deter us from watching our carver work his magic. I was surprised to find out he was only 17 years old. But the guys from DiMartino Ice make it look easy utilizing tools such as chain and hand saws, blow torches and chisels.

This year, the 2013 timed carving competition winner was Joe DiMartino with his carving of a seahorse.

And There is More...

Franklin on Ice is surely worth the trip. It's a visual treat for the eyes, but that's not all. According to Beith, "As the years have passed we have added a Chili Cook-Off and various forms of entertainment to the festival. The Barrow-Civic Theatre hosts performances on Friday evening and Saturday... The Franklin Retail Association and the City sponsor promotions such as Kool Kash Bingo, Indoor Sidewalk Sales and Valentine Specials."

And uptown Franklin is a delight. With the motto "Always Eventful", there is so much more to do and see. To warm ourselves we walked across the street to Daffin's Candies before making our way to DeBence's Antique Music World for a once-in-a-lifetime show of antique music machines and finally we stopped at Bossa Nova Cafe Roastery for hot chocolate and listened to a live band.

Source

Sculptures by Night

A special encore treat of the event when the carving was over and daylight began to fade was returning to the park to see the sculptures lit up. Like a beautiful frozen garden, the park is almost surreal and whimsical. As I ran from statue to statue with a dying camera battery, I must admit, this was my favorite part of the day. The crowds had dissipated and the park was cold and aglow. I wanted to stay, but my ride was leaving. With my battery fading, I consoled myself with the thought that Franklin on Ice will return next year. It is an event, in a pleasant and historic town, that should not be missed!

Photo Gallery

Dancer by day, dancer by night.
Dancer by day, dancer by night. | Source
Every musicians friend, the treble or G clef.
Every musicians friend, the treble or G clef. | Source
Banjo by night sponsored by Tim Hartle Funeral Home.
Banjo by night sponsored by Tim Hartle Funeral Home. | Source
The City of Franklin sponsored this giant snowflake lit up in all its glory.
The City of Franklin sponsored this giant snowflake lit up in all its glory. | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thanks Teaches - it is an amazing winter event - thanks for sharing. cjbehr

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Carla, I enjoyed the photos of the sculptures. I would have loved to have seen the carriage. It looks like you had a most wonderful time at this event. Thanks for the share.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)