Photos: Freezefest Ice Battle 2023

Temperatures on Friday night for the Freezefest 2023 Ice Battle were a smidgen warmer than freezing—right around 33 F degrees.

The competition unfolded on Upland Brewing’s outdoor stage north of the parking lot off 11th Street. Starting with blank blocks of ice, two teams of ice carvers from Ice of America completed three rounds of carving lasting 15 minutes apiece.

At the end of 45 minutes, one team had produced a dragon. The other team created a carving that depicted Sponge Bob Square Pants blowing bubbles.

They were competing for the crowd’s approval as measured by the loudness of the cheers. It took three rounds of voting for a winner to be determined—Sponge Bob.

More photos from Friday night’s event are included below.

Continue reading “Photos: Freezefest Ice Battle 2023”

Bloomington works to heed court’s order on art, means temporary delay on OK for Freezefest 2023

A special events application to hold the third annual Freezefest downtown in the Trades District area would have normally received a straightforward approval from Bloomington’s three-member board of public works on Tuesday night.

It’s an ice carving festival set to take place along Maker’s Way from Jan. 15 to Jan. 22, and features a chili cook-off at The Mill, a coworking space located in the former dimension mill of the Showers Brothers Furniture Company.

Instead of receiving an approval, the Freezefest application was pulled from the meeting agenda.

The reason Freezefest didn’t get a vote on Tuesday is not related to any controversy related to Freezefest itself. In fact, the festival’s special event application will likely be approved at the board’s next meeting, on Dec. 20.

But for now, Freezefest falls under a moratorium on special events applications, which the board of public works imposed on Tuesday.

The moratorium is related to litigation against the city of Bloomington that arose out of a request to install an “All Lives Matter” street mural on Kirkwood Avenue, in response to the city’s three “Black Lives Matter” street murals. Continue reading “Bloomington works to heed court’s order on art, means temporary delay on OK for Freezefest 2023”

Photos | Bloomington Freezefest 2022: Winter festival goes through Saturday, Jan. 22

Temperatures on Friday night for Freezefest 2022, Bloomington’s winter festival, were holding steady around 14 F degrees. That’s plenty cold enough to keep the ice sculptures intact for Saturday’s final day of activities.

On the docket for Saturday in the Trades District north of city hall are ice carving demonstrations and games for kids, among other activities. If you ever wanted to play bean bag toss (aka cornhole) on ramps made of ice, play ping pong on an ice table, or sit on an ice throne, Saturday (Jan. 22) is the day to cross those items off your list.

For details see the Freezefest website. Here’s more photos from Friday night. Continue reading “Photos | Bloomington Freezefest 2022: Winter festival goes through Saturday, Jan. 22”