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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:02:16 12:27:44

TERI LYON FILE PHOTO / FOR ABINGTON SUBURBAN Students of The Vocal Studio of Jessica Hitchcock gather with their teacher prior to performing in last year’s Clarks Summit Festival of Ice. From left: Kyler Epstein, Lucy Earl, Hitchcock, Michele Malewicz and Leandra Brust. In front is Rachel Hitchcock.

It’s a wonder how the ice sculptures at the annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice can hold their shapes with all the warmth that our families and community bring to that event every year.

I am sure the tradition will continue with ICEtendo, the 16th Annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice, to take place this weekend, Feb. 14-16 throughout the Abingtons. Families, couples or individuals – not only from the Abingtons but from all over northeast Pennsylvania – are expected to crowd this year’s festival in hopes to “get your frozen game on” as its promotions suggest.

For starters, the annual festival is at the right place on the calendar. Mid-February is always the time of year when cabin fever hits. Even though we haven’t had as much snow this year (so far), our families are looking for an alternative to sickness and staying in from the cold. And kicking off the festival with a parade on the evening of Valentine’s Day is a festive introduction.

Once we’re at the festival, there will be more than enough to keep us warm and happy. I, for one, will be sitting in the lower-level dining area of First Presbyterian Church on School Street on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m., sampling a variety of homemade chili made by church members at their Chili Café and listening to the talented students of The Vocal Studio of Jessica Hitchcock (VSJH). The entertainment is part of a weekend filled with live shows by various musicians and other entertainers throughout town.

VSJH, my daughter’s studio, has participated in the ice festival for seven years. Jess said her students are “so excited” to perform a variety of songs from different genres and time periods at this year’s festival. The Chili Café is a place for good food, fun and fellowship.

Outside, as festival-goers “ooh” and “ahh” over more than 50 ice sculptures on display throughout town, I know my heart will be warm, as well.

When I see the smiles of young children as they pose for a photo with their favorite ice sculpture.

When I see the sparkle in the eyes of parents who lift their wee ones up onto their shoulders to get a better view of a live ice carving demonstration or ice carving competition.

When families wave from a trolley or carriage ride throughout the festival.

When I hear the laughter of big kids excited as they participate in live gaming.

And back inside where shoppers delight at the ICEtendo Vendor Market where local crafters and businesses will gather at the Abington Heights Administration Building, 200 E. Grove St., Clarks Summit.

It’s all good, a distraction from shoveling snow, scraping windshields and bundling up just to go out for the mail.

It’s a reminder that spring is around the corner, and in the meantime, winter can be fun.

Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.