The sound of chainsaws, the sudden presences of towering, icy creations and a healthy dose of flurries marked the start of the 2012 Plymouth Ice Festival on Friday in Plymouth's .
The event opened at 3 p.m. Friday and continues through 6 p.m. Sunday. A is available here on Patch.
Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth) and Plymouth City Commissioner Ed Hingelberg ushered in the festival by cutting the ice ribbon with a chainsaw before Northville's Shawn Riley Band braved the cold to take the stage at Penniman Avenue and Union Street to play a selection of classic and Top 40 hits.
Heise said he often draws the envy of his Lansing colleagues, who often speak highly of Plymouth's annual ice fest.
Icy replicas of the Statue of Liberty, a bee and other creations carved by regional artists already were scattered throughout Kellogg Park upon the festival's start, while several more creations are expected to come throughout the weekend.
Several Plymouth Whalers players walked through the crowds to meet with fans and hand out vouchers for free game tickets. Rickard Rakell, a native of Sweden, said he had never seen anything like Plymouth's downtown winter wonderland.
The Whalers' Andy Bathgate, an Ontario native, said the experience was new for him, too.
"I came from a small town in Ontario," Bathgate said. "There's nothing like this there, so it's great to be out here."
Patch will be at its booth in the Gathering pavilion by Penniman Avenue and Union Street on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by for a chance to win prizes.