There are some advantages to it being frigid outside. Just ask an ice sculptor—there will be eight world-class ones at the Village at Leesburg shopping center this Saturday, January 31, shaping tons of ice into cool carvings.
The competitive carvers—who knew there were so many ice-carving contests?—include Angelito Baban, a chef and ice sculptor at the J.W. Marriott in DC who won the 2011 International Ice Festival in Poland; Ohio’s Greg Butauski, captain of the Team USA ice-carving squad at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; and North Carolina’s Todd Dawson, part of the four-person team that earned second-place at the 2014 World Ice Art Championships in Alaska.
The ice-carving competition is part of the second annual Winter Ice Fest, which is free and open to the public. The carvers will start at 9 am, and the eventual sculptures will be lit up in colored lights, and a winner announced, at 5 pm. From 1 to 5, visitors can enjoy free s’mores, hot chocolate, and cider; a deejay cueing up music; and good cheer—literally—from the Red Rockers, the cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals hockey team.
There will be warming stations outside for those milling about. And you can always duck into the shops, which include Wegmans, Orvis, and Cobb Village 12 Cinemas. (If you’re trying to catch up on your movies before the Oscars, the flicks playing there include American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Selma, and Into the Woods. Have children in tow? There’s also Paddington and Strange Magic.)