PHOTOS: Fire And Ice Fest Returns To Nelsonville

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Fire and ice took over Nelsonville’s Public Square on Friday evening as part of January’s Final Friday event.

Despite the below-freezing temperatures, dozens of people ventured out to enjoy ice carving, Bananas Foster and soups around a fire pit made of ice.

Students from Hocking College prepared Bananas Foster on a counter top made of ice throughout the evening, while other students prepared soup to warm those attending the event.

“It’s great to be a part of Final Friday,” said Hocking College chef instructor Clarence E. Steadman. This is the third year for the college’s involvement in the event.

Steadman said the students in the Epicurean Club were selling the soups as a fundraiser for the club.

For Garfield Heights resident Maria Bonvissuto it was her first time attending Final Friday.

“Amazing,” said Bonvissuto of the evening’s events.

Local resident Bob Castro noted the importance of supporting activities such as Final Friday to keep the city’s economy and tourism alive.

Master ice sculptor Paul Ahrens created sculpture of a castle, scissors, a piggy bank and many others to represent the various sponsors for event.

In addition, amateur sculptors tried their hand creating masterpieces of their own.

Hocking College photography students Ashley Dishong, Sharon Disbennett and Jeremiah Disbennett created a sculpture fitting of the evening’s theme.

The “Fire and Ice” sculpture had a flame at the top and ice cubes at the bottom.

“It seemed like fun,” said Sharon Disbennett of the first time carving ice sculptures for the first time. Dishong said that the students had been encouraged by their professor to participate.

Miki Brooks, board member of the Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce and Final Friday participant, said the event would not be possible without the help of the sponsors.

“It’s really a combined effort,” said Brooks of the event.

One main goal of the event each month is to spur economic development in Nelsonville.

In February, Final Friday 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.

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Photos by Logan Riely/WOUB Public Media