The Meltdown Ice Festival is happening Jan. 24- 27
Photo: Nancy Sartain
Photo: Nancy Sartain

WORTH THE DRIVE: Thousands flock to this Winter Ice Festival happening less than an hour from Dayton

Sometimes a true adventure requires a little driving. 

The sixth annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, Ind., is one we think is worth the 50-minute road trip across the state line. Every year, thousands of visitors travel to Richmond to watch world-renowned ice artists transform the town into a winter wonderland. And the best part is it’s entirely free.

The festival, happening Jan. 25 through Jan. 27, kicks off Friday when the chainsaws and blowtorches fire up. Ice fights, winter activities, competitions and more unique events are set to make it an unforgettable weekend. 

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“Watch the ice fly as world renowned ice artists use their polished skills, imagination, and passion to transform blocks of ice into stunning frozen masterpieces. Take in the magical creations along Main Street and Elstro Park Plaza. Meet the artists and pose with more than 35 dazzling ice sculptures. During the festival, over 22 tons of ice will be intricately designed and sculpted into works of art,” according to event organizers. 

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An interactive ice park will provide family fun with an array of games skillfully crafted entirely from ice. Other highlights include fire shows, Magical Snowflakes on Main Scavenger Hunt, carriage rides, Frozen Fairy Trail, Frosty Mug Pub Crawl, musical performances, Lego competition, Chili for Charity, Paint and Take Souvenir, local food trucks, fireworks and more. 

“The main event are the two no-holds-barred "Meltdown Throwdown" ice sculpting competitions between pro carvers and 1,200 pounds of ice. The crowd is the judge for this event as these artists go head to head to see who can create the best ice sculpture the fastest. These high-octane ice fights will take place Friday, January 25th and Saturday, January 26th. Competitions on both nights will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Elstro Park Plaza, downtown Richmond,” according to a Meltdown press release. 

WANT TO GO? 

WHAT: Meltdown Winter Ice Festival

WHEN: Fri.- Sun., Jan. 25- 27

WHERE: Downtown Richmond, Ind.

INFO: Website

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