Ice sculptor Tajana Raukar, of Ice Dreams Sculptures, carves an owl during last year’s Holiday Ice Festival.

Ice sculptor Tajana Raukar, of Ice Dreams Sculptures, carves an owl during last year’s Holiday Ice Festival.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

Holiday Ice Festival turning 19 in downtown Ferndale

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published December 3, 2019


FERNDALE — Ice sculptures, hayrides and Santa Claus all will be returning to Ferndale soon for its Holiday Ice Festival.

The 19th annual Holiday Ice Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in downtown Ferndale. The main hub, or North Pole, for Holiday Ice will be located at Schiffer Park, near Planavon Street and West Nine Mile Road.

Right at the start of the event, at 10 a.m., Santa Claus will arrive on a Ferndale fire truck. He’ll be available to take free photos from 10-11 a.m., and from 2-4 p.m.

Kris Kringle then will make his way to Rosie O’Grady’s from noon to 1:30 p.m. for lunch. The Ferndale Community Concert Band also will be in attendance to provide live holiday music.

In addition to Santa Claus, the North Pole will be the home to a warming tent and the pickup and drop-off site for an urban hayride. The free hayride will move through downtown Ferndale and operate from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There also will be an appearance by Mr. Peanut and his Planters Nutmobile from noon to 2 p.m., where people can have tours and take photos of the Nutmobile.

The event is part of the Downtown Development Authority’s “Frosty Ferndale” campaign. Executive Director Lena Stevens said she might be most excited to meet people and business owners walking through the event, as well as getting to hang out with Santa Claus.

“In one of the last places I worked, I think one of the silliest, most fun memories was, during the holidays, walking into businesses with Santa, and the reactions are hilarious,” she said. “From kids all the way to adults, it’s just the goofiest thing, and watching people talk to Santa is so fun.”

A highlight of every Holiday Ice Festival is the ice sculptures that decorate the entire town. This year’s event is no exception, as more than 35 ice sculptures, from R2-D2 to Princess Peach, will be on display.

Sculptors also will be present to carve four figures out of ice while the event is going on. The carvings will be done at 10:30 a.m. at Schiffer Park, at noon at Como’s Restaurant, at 1:30 p.m. at the Candle Wick Shoppe and at 3 p.m. at Como’s.

Stevens said the sculptors came to the DDA with the idea of having interactive ice sculptures for the first time.

“They said you could do, like, a gingerbread house, and then have watercolor paints, and then kids can paint on them and touch the sculptures and play with them,” she said.

From the ice sculptures to the opportunity to shop downtown, Mayor Dan Martin said there are a lot of great things to do at this festival.

“It’s just a really great way to kick off the holidays,” he said. “The spirit’s there, and it just gets everybody in a holiday frame of mind, and it’s just good, family fun.”

For more information on the Holiday Ice Festival and other holiday-related events in Ferndale, visit