MAYVILLE - Frigid temperatures and steady snowfall typically aren't good things for construction crews, unless it's the crew that recently completed building the Ice Castle in Mayville.
With the official lighting of the Ice Castle slated for 6:30 p.m. tonight at Lakeside Park, the ceremony kicks off a weekend-long celebration that has enough events and attractions to offer a little something for everyone.
Following the grand opening of the 2010 Ice Festival, people looking to have a good time around 8 p.m. can cruise over to either the Mayville Legion, where there will be softball bracketing and a party, or to Chautauqua Suites where guests will be treated to the soul sounds of New Orleans native Larry LZ Dillon in the Belini Lounge. In conjunction with the performance, the lounge is offering an eight-ounce steak and a glass of wine for $14.99.
At 10 p.m. in the Lakeside Hotel, the Porcelain Bus drivers will play covers of the best of the 1970s and 1980s music.
The party continues on Saturday and Sunday, with several events and contests being held in conjunction with the festival, but the central attraction is no doubt the Ice Castle.
Marty Bova, mayor of Mayville, said this coming weekend will mark "one of the best events" ever held in the village.
"The construction crew has been hard at work since December, clearing snow from the lake to expose the ice, thus making better, thicker, blue ice," he said. "In this ice castle, there is going to be a whole new lighting scheme and I am told they are going to resurrect the old flaming dragon used years ago."
In addition to the ice castle, the festival will feature three contests this year.
The Presidential Look Alike Contest will take place at 1:30 p.m., Sunday at the Community Center at Lakeside Park, and the winner will receive a prize package put together by the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution, valued at more than $100.
The Snowball Distance Throwing Contest will be at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, with cash prizes for adults and children. The Children's Snowman/Animal Building Contest will take place on Sunday for children ages 4 to 12, also with cash prizes for the winners.
For those who embrace their inner sense of adventure, at noon Saturday, they can join in an embark on the Polar Bear Plunge in Chautauqua Lake. Anyone not looking to get wet can also opt to take a snowmobile ride or a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.
With events scheduled throughout the day, the evening culminates with the Flare Parade by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club at 7 p.m., and a fireworks presentation by the Starfire Corporation at 8 p.m.
The fun resumes on Sunday morning around 11 a.m., and continues throughout the afternoon.
Bova said he appreciates all the effort people put into the event, and cites it as the reason so many people are able to enjoy themselves at it annually.
"It is always amazing to see who donates their time and talents to this event, many of whom are otherwise self-employed and lose paid work days to bring this community event to fruition," he said. "Not to mention the local businesses who donate lunch to the work crews on a daily basis. I highly recommend everyone take time out of your busy schedules to attend the 2010 Ice Castle Presidents Day event. So many people have worked so hard, my hat goes off to them, their families and all involved."
Complete program schedules are available at the festival, or by visiting the Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.mayvillechautauquachamber.org.
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