According to Long Lake Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Alexandra Roalsvig, Stan Kolonko is providing just one part to the many activities over the course of the two-day event.
Roalsvig says, “The Ice Fest is co-sponsored between area businesses and the town so each sculpture is different and to the specifications of the business. For example, Hoss’s will have a bear again this year, but it will be on all fours while the Long Lake Historical Society is having a representation of Mitchell Sabattis carved in ice. There will be seven sculptures in all.”
While Kolonko carves the custom statues, people are encouraged to bring their own snow people to the Historical Society to create a snow-person crowd. There will be a Taxidermy Attire Contest (with prizes awards) at Hoss’s and free coffee and donuts to ward off any chill.
“I’ve been carving ice since 1988. I went to a culinary arts school and that is where I learned to carve ice and it became an obsession,” says Kolonko. “It became part of my business and now it’s a full time job. I’ll be in Long Lake for a few days and move on to Bay Harbor, MI and then participate in a festival in Skaneateles, NY. I work every day in ice.”
Kolonko has won medals in numerous international ice-carving events and even took home 1st place at the Harbin International Ice Sculpture Competition in China in 2010.
“I really enjoy how the kids always know what I’m making before the adults,” says Kolonko. “They can point out and can see the sculpture emerge. The beauty of the ice is that is a temporary art and will be different every time I work on it.”
To see the Ice Farm’s Stan Kolonko or take advantage of the various Long Lake events from chili or wine tasting to free ice skating and hot cocoa, visit the Long Lake website. If you miss the Ice Fest, Long Lake Winter Carnival is the next weekend and the ice statues should still be around to enjoy!
Photo provided by the Town of Long Lake.