The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival brings warm community fun on a cold weekend

Sienna+Williams%2C+Photography+Co-Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Sienna Williams, Photography Co-Editor / The Bucknellian

This previous weekend marked one of Lewisburg’s finest and most memorable traditions that truly give it the small-town austere: the Ice Festival. The weekend was a cold blend of frozen artistry, activities for all ages and warm community spirit.

The festival began on Friday morning with the unveiling of one-block ice sculptures up and down Market Street. Additionally, there were live carving sessions for onlookers to witness the captivating transformation of blocks of ice into intricate masterpieces, creating a visual spectacle for all.

Also on Friday, the Donald Heiter Center sold boxes of chocolate known as chocolate “flights” as part of their weekend-long chocolate celebration. As the night approached, the town came alive with the second Annual Sip and Stroll, generously sponsored by the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau. 

This year’s Sip and Stroll has doubled in size, featuring 10 stops for participants to enjoy. Sip and Stroll business participants included:

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  • Brasserie Louis
  • Daisylace Boutique and Union Cellars
  • Faustina’s Frame Shop and Kulpmont Winery
  • The Mercantile and Whispering Oaks Vineyard
  • Jordanna Adams and Nomad Distillery
  • Hungry Run
  • Wilson Ross and Iron Vines Winery
  • Retrah and Dwellings and Shade Mountain Winery
  • Bull Run Tap House featuring Pour Decisions Distellery, Mountoursville
  • Mondragon Books and Fero Vineyard

Saturday morning invited the fitness enthusiasts and families of Lewisburg to join the Frosty 5k hosted by Sunset Rotary.

Later that afternoon, Lewisburg Neighborhoods, in partnership with the Brasserie Louis, hosted the main event of the weekend: the Polar Bear Plunge. After a pre-party at Brasserie Louis, there was a parade down to the St. George St. to join in, or watch with, hundreds of people take the Polar Bear Plunge into the freezing Susquehanna River! 

“The Polar Bear Plunge was amazing experience,” said Grace Garvey ’25, who plunged for the first time this year. “From the get-go the energy was high, with tons of people parading to the event, singing, dancing, and wearing fun costumes. As my friends and I got ready to plunge, there was a feeling of anticipation and excitement. Running into the freezing cold water and hearing the cheers of hundreds of people rooting us on and supporting Lewisburg was truly unforgettable.”

Other events on Saturday included the Chocolate Tour, hosted by the Donald Heiter Center and Sunrise Rotary’s Chili Cook-Off at Bull Run Tap House.

“It was great to walk around Market Street during the Ice Festival,” said Josh Dewey ’25. “It’s always nice to see so many people around and different vendors on the street. I was also really excited Mondragon had their soft opening for the festival. It’s one of my favorite businesses in town and it was great to get to check out the new space. I’m really excited for the full opening.”

Sunday offered a leisurely conclusion to the weekend with a downtown brunch. Many residents walked down Market Street to admire the sculptures that adorn the town, capturing the essence of a weekend filled with art, camaraderie and winter magic.

However, for those who wanted a more active Sunday morning, Lewisburg Neighborhoods hosted a Slow Roll — a brisk bike ride before brunch.

One can certainly say that the Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival is more than an event — it’s a celebration of the vibrancy and love throughout the community of Lewisburg.

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