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The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

Saturday, February 9, 2019

NEW Ice Sculptures to be Carved on Main Street and Ice Carving Speed Competition to be on The Green in Downtown Wellsboro on Saturday, Feb. 16

The Old Man Winter throne (shown) is 
a favorite with adults, teens and children 
who enjoy sitting on it while friends 
and relatives take their picture.
On Saturday, Feb. 16 at this year's three-day Wellsboro Winter Celebration, Jeff Meyers and Shawn Eckhart, both of Cleveland, Ohio and Erik Cantine of Maryland, all from Elegant Ice Creations, Inc. will carve 22 blocks of ice weighing 3.3 tons into seven different figures in front of downtown Wellsboro businesses and six more during the Speed Carving Competition on The Green.

All ice events are free. People are invited to watch the carvers at work and ask them questions. The sculptures on Main Street and The Green will stay where they are carved until they literally melt away.

Three separate heats will be held during the speed-carving contest to determine whether Meyers, Eckhart or Cantine will earn bragging rights as the one who creates the best ice masterpieces. They will create six different ice masterpieces during the three heats using a 300-pound block of ice per sculpture. The heats will be at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. on The Green. Two of the men will compete in the first heat. The loser will compete against the third man in the second heat, and the two winners will compete against each other in the third heat. Each will use a chainsaw and one tool he selects to create a different sculpture of his choosing during each 20-minute heat. At the end of the 20 minutes, the men will torch their sculptures to clean up the ice. The MC will pick different people from the audience to be the judges for each heat.

The first ice on Main Street will be carved in front of the law offices of Ginn & Vickery, PC at 99 Main Street in Wellsboro. The three men will work together for an hour to finish turning 2,100 pounds of ice into an Old Man Winter throne. By 9 a.m. on Saturday, the throne will be available for photographs. Adults, teens and children can sit on the throne while friends and relatives take their pictures.

Working separately, Eckhart, Meyers and Cantine will also complete six individual sculptures each from 450 pounds of ice. The cold masterpieces will include: a sailboat starting at 9:15 a.m. in front of Timeless Destination at 77 Main Street; Winnie the Pooh at 10 a.m. in front of Café 1905 at Dunham’s Department Store at 45 Main Street; a swan on a heart at 1 p.m. in front of The Fifth Season at 100 Main Street; a koala bear at 1:45 p.m. in front of Peggy’s Candies & Bake Shoppe at 84 Main Street; a rooster head at 2:30 p.m. in front of Indigo Wireless at 64 Main Street and a snowman at 3:15 p.m. in front of the Arcadia Theatre at 50 Main Street.

Meyers, now a master carver, was a high school student studying advanced ceramics when he got a call in 2001 asking him to help the company to harvest ice blocks. “Six months later I started carving and have been with Elegant Ice ever since,” he said.

As a culinary arts student at the University of Akron, Eckhart got into ice carving. He graduated in 2011. Considered a very good carver, he has been working for Elegant Ice for the past four years on an as needed basis.

Cantine and Elegant Ice owner Aaron Costic competed against each other 30 years ago. "It was the very first ice competition for both of us," Costic said. "Erik is an outstanding carver. He has a ton of ice carving experience."

The carvers will use chainsaws to do the basic carving and smaller hand and power tools for the detail work. It will take about an hour to carve each of the six sculptures from a block and a half of ice. "Because ice carving can be done in a relatively short period of time, people can stick around to watch a carving from start to finish," said Costic.

For more information about the Wellsboro Winter Celebration, call the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at 570-724-1926 or visit www.wellsoboropa.com.

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