Paul and Nicoleta Plaza, of St. Clair Shores, and their children, 1-year-old Ronan and 3-year-old Sienna, pet the horse pulling a carriage around the 2018 festival. The 2021 festival will also include horse-drawn wagon rides.

Paul and Nicoleta Plaza, of St. Clair Shores, and their children, 1-year-old Ronan and 3-year-old Sienna, pet the horse pulling a carriage around the 2018 festival. The 2021 festival will also include horse-drawn wagon rides.

File photo by Donna Agusti


With ice sculptures, food trucks and music, Aqua Freeze returns to St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 8, 2021

 Then 5-year-old Katelyn Wofford, of St. Clair Shores, peeks through an ice sculpture at the 2018 St. Clair Shores Aqua Freeze. The 2021 festival is set for Jan. 16-17.

Then 5-year-old Katelyn Wofford, of St. Clair Shores, peeks through an ice sculpture at the 2018 St. Clair Shores Aqua Freeze. The 2021 festival is set for Jan. 16-17.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 Charles Carter, of the Henry Ford Ice Carving Team, competes in the collegiate ice carving competition during the 2018 festival at Blossom Heath Park. Aqua Freeze was not held in 2019 or 2020.

Charles Carter, of the Henry Ford Ice Carving Team, competes in the collegiate ice carving competition during the 2018 festival at Blossom Heath Park. Aqua Freeze was not held in 2019 or 2020.

File photo by Donna Agusti

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — After a two-year hiatus, the Aqua Freeze Festival will return to Blossom Heath Park, 24800 Jefferson Ave., Jan. 16-17.

Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman, who is organizing the festival, said there will be fun for all ages.

There will be no cost to enter the event, which will be centered around the Blossom Heath Beach House, and parking will be $1, he said.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s going to be a real fun event,” he said. “The park is so incredibly well-received by our residents that we just want to keep it going, keep the excitement going.”

This year’s event will include ice sculptures, horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo, ice cornhole and putt-putt golf, fire pits, hot chocolate, a beer tent and food trucks. All of the sculptures and offerings are being sponsored by various businesses throughout the city.

The festival will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Jan. 16, with food trucks from Island Noodle, Señors, Lil Bros Burgers and The Little Donut Factory. The Sax Maniacs will perform at 5 p.m.

On Jan. 17, the event runs from noon to 6 p.m. with food trucks by BBQ Daddy, The Lobster Food Truck and The Little Donut Factory, and a performance by the Orbitsuns at 3 p.m.

There will be a heated craft beer tent with offerings from Baffin Brewing Company, Copper Hop Brewing Company, Blakes and more, and imbibers can enjoy their beer in “traveling beer garden glasses.” There will also be hot chocolate available in complimentary mugs.

“We will have our fire pits going on also, and ice demonstrations. Throughout the park will be all different ice sculptures you’ll be able to see,” Bowman said.

The city installed igloos at the park near the Beach House, which have been popular with visitors all winter, so they wanted to give people more ways to enjoy the Beach House and surrounding amenities. Visitors are asked to wear masks and maintain proper social distance.

“The businesses in our community have been so generous in their sponsorships,” he said. “We’re putting on this event ... because of all the great businesses.”

St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby commended the Parks and Recreation Department for the “great job” in organizing the 2021 festival.

They’re even bringing back the polar plunge at 2 p.m. Jan. 17, which Walby called a “fan favorite.”

“It’s going to be a good time,” he said at the Jan. 4 City Council meeting. “Especially during this time when you need to get out and enjoy something other than our living rooms and our homes.”

Sign up for the Polar Plunge is available on the Facebook page of the St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department.

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