Jordan Hill sculpts ice during the 2014 "Fire and Ice" event
Jordan Hill sculpts ice during the 2014 "Fire and Ice" event

Final Fridays Stay Hot And Cold

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The combination of hot and cold features will be back for this month’s Final Friday in the Nelsonville square.

The “Fire and Ice Festival” was so popular last year that organizers decided to bring back the theme this year.

To open the 2015 event, which happens the last Friday of every month except December, work is beginning on a fire pit made of ice. The pit, which involves pallets lit on fire in the middle of walls made of ice, will be lit on Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m., according to Miki Brooks, board member of the Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce and Final Friday participant.

“The fire pit is going to be 8 feet wide by 6 feet tall, so it’s going to take a lot of ice,” Brooks said.

Master ice carver Paul Ahrens will be overseeing the pit. He is also going to be a part of the culinary arts students’ ice-carving competition.

The fire-and-ice pit will have sponsors names and logos frozen into the ice. Ten sponsors are included in the pit, but Brooks said organizers are looking for two more.

While sitting around the fire, visitors can enjoy desserts made by Hocking College Culinary Arts students. The desserts, of course, will include flames (bananas Foster is one of the dishes planned), and will be made on a table made of ice.

“It’s hard to get people to come out in January so we’re looking forward to everything going on,” Brooks said.

Several businesses on the square will be open, including Rhapsody, which will be featuring a special menu to celebrate the Fire and Ice Festival.

In February, Final Fridays is bringing back the Mardi Gras celebration they held last year. The festivities included a parade, brass band, Cajun food and Honey for the Heart puppets entertaining the crowd.

“It’s a belated Mardi Gras, but it was a hit last year so we wanted to do it again,” Brooks said.

Art galleries on the square will present new shows in conjunction with the start of Final Fridays.

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