This Festival in Crawford County Will Make You Feel Like You’re in a Winter Wonderland
Crawford County is an undiscovered treasure in Pennsylvania and not just because of its central location, with Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh and Erie, PA all in close proximity.
Northwest Pennsylvania is overflowing with natural beauty and family-friendly activities during all four seasons, but the area really comes to life in the winter when so many others tend to hide in hibernation. Every February the community along Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake gathers for the Ice House Festival, where there’s freezing fun for everyone!
The festival pays homage to the ice harvesting industry that flourished from the late 1800s through the 1920s. The industry used to employ over 200 people, and over 100,000 tons of ice were transported to surrounding areas until the need for ice blocks was replaced with the invention of electric refrigeration.
Prepare to be blown away by the stunning spectacle of intricate, crystal clear ice sculptures that surround Ice House Park at Conneaut Lake during the festival. Expect to see everything from a giant frothy beer mug to an interactive ice slide the little ones can ride. Start your day off by scoping out the sculptures and taking a frosty walk on Mammoth Ice Trail at Fireman’s Beach.
Turn up the heat by venturing over to the chili cook-off for lunch at Silver Shores Restaurant, where just $10 ($5 for kids!) gets you a tasting ticket and a chance to vote for your favorite. After you grab lunch, catch a live professional ice carving by DiMartino Ice Team back over at the park before venturing to nearby shops for door prizes and themed treats such as iced cupcake samples from the local bakery, iced lattes as Vacavi Cafe, and Ice House Bubble tastings at Conneaut Cellars.
Kids can stop by the local library for snowflake cookies and a wintery crafting session, and if you stick around through dinner time you can catch Ice House Rocks with live music from local artists. For another place to warm up in between icey fun, learn some history and sip on some hot chocolate over at the Historical Society Museum.
Don’t miss the freezing fun! The 2019 Ice House Festival is coming up on February 23rd. To see details from past Ice House Festivals and stay up to date with information on this year’s event, visit the Conneaut Lake website here.
The Ice House Festival might only happen once a year, but Crawford County has plenty of activities to entertain visitors year round.