St. Charles community gathers for annual ice carving festival


Photo by Ben Blizzard

Art Phetsadasack carving “Call of the Wild” as a part of the five-block portion of the competition at the annual “Fete De Glace” ice carving festival.

Sofiya Melnychuk and Ben Blizzard

The annual “Fete de Glace” ice carving festival gathers the St. Charles community on Main Street to appreciate the art of ice sculpturing.

The ice carving festival has been an annual tradition for the St. Charles community for 24 years now. Each year, people gather to watch the craftsman create masterpieces made of ice using chainsaws, knives, grinders, and other tools.

The festival is one of the most popular winter events in St. Charles and this year’s attendance didn’t disappoint, said event volunteer Colleen Wright.

“The attendance this year was much better than we expected,” Wright said. “It was definitely very good.”

This year’s festival preparation had some challenges, said Wright. Many craftsmen that participated in previous years had retired, creating a need for activities at the festival. This year, the festival had single-block sculptures, as well as five-block team carving.

“A lot of them [craftsmen] had retired,” Wright said. “So, that was a little difficult, but we added a little more entertainment in, for extra activities.”

Here’s a list of winners of the ice carving competition:

Single-Block Carving

1st place – Angelfish by Bernard Decoster

2nd place – Phoenix by Naomi Hamamura

3rd place -Batter Up! by Art Phetsadasack

Five-Block Carving

1st place: Golden Dragon by Hamamura and Cheng