2011 Plymouth Ice Festival Deemed a Success
Executive Producer Sam Walton estimates about 125,000 people attended the festival over the past three days.
Even though an official count from the police department will not be available until Monday or Tuesday, Sam Walton, Executive Producer of the Plymouth Ice Festival estimates that about 125,000 people attended the festival this past weekend.
“The Ice Festival went very well,” Walton said. “The only negative, not even really a negative, the only detractor was the extreme cold. Last year it was 62 degrees and thunderstorms on Sunday. We went from one end of the weather spectrum to the other.”
The festival ran smoothly all weekend, even with unexpected power outages here and there.
“It was a current draw issue,” Walton said. “It’s something we will definitely try to improve next year in cooperation with the city.”
The festival featured several new interactive events such as the Rail Jam and the children’s ski area.
Mike Bedellis of the Otsego Club in Gaylord put on the Rail Jam Event.
“It went great,” Bedellis said. “We had a great time. We had about 60 to 70 kids there. We definitely would like to come back next year, if they will have us.”
Walton said it was a definite possibility on having the Rail Jam event again next year.
“We hit on a great symbiotic relationship with the Otsego Club,” Walton said. “We’re looking to partner with innovative businesses that are about the same things we are. We’re out there to have fun in the winter and so are they.”
Walton said he couldn’t pinpoint a single most popular event during the Ice Festival.
“It would depend on the demographics,” Walton said. “The older generation, 65 and up, are still in love with the ice sculptures, and we’re never going to give those up. The 25 to 40 year old age range loved the live music and live carving events. The more interactive events like the kids skiing and the Rail Jam drew in people too. The speed carving brought the most people to that specific event.”
Meggan Joy, a volunteer working the Plymouth Ice Festival, said she thought the Ice Throne was a popular attraction this year because there were always people in line for it.
“Everybody has been very patient in waiting their turn,” she said. “And they’ve been good about not taking up too much time when they are up here taking pictures.”
Walton wants the Ice Festival to grow even more in coming years.
“We want to grow from a geographical stand point,” Walton said. “We closed Penniman Avenue and everybody had a great time. It’s a compromise of giving up your parking. I think people would much rather see things than park.”
Walton also thinks increasing the amount of interactive activities and more carving will draw people back for each day of the festival.
“The fact that we had carving for the entire weekend was a huge plus,” he said. “We want to have a new feature every day to get people to come back into town.”
Check out all the news on the Plymouth Ice Festival here.