With the temperature hovering near freezing, Snowblast Winter Festival got off to a brisk start Friday evening, February 4, with belly warming icetinis’s at Triangle Park by the Emmaus Main Street Program. For the uninitiated, an icetini is vodka, Sprite, and blue raspberry juice, which create a cool blue concoction.
In opening remarks, Emmaus Arts Commission (EAC) president Bob Boehmer, an art teacher in the Parkland School District, said, "We’re confident the community will continue to support the EAC and the many exciting events we have planned." He thanked the Emmaus Main Street Program for their cooperation, as well as the borough’s Special Entertainment and Parks and Recreation Commissions. Laura Bauder of EAC was Snowblast event chair.
The entertainment was top notch. Promptly at 5 p.m. Ice Princess Laura Wetzel began displaying her graceful moves on a five by five mini-rink. The chilly weather didn’t faze the United States Figure Skating triple gold medallist who also coaches at the Steel Ice Center in Bethlehem. Laura has been skating competitively for 17 years.
In another section of Triangle Park Neil Trimper and Tom Field of Sculpted Ice Works used chain saws and lathes to create delicate ice sculptures - a cat and an owl - that reflected their award winning style. Field said that they sculpt in competitions in the tri-state area, Washington DC, Connecticut, Vermont, Virginia and Maryland, and have won numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. They were sponsored by Lafayette Ambassador Bank.
More than a 100 people were at Triangle Park, with countless others walking on Main Street. For festivalgoers seeking warmth there were fire pits on Triangle Park and a variety of indoor venues.
Emma Ville of Cottage on the Triangle served champagne and wine, frosted strawberries, and an assortment of cookies and cupcakes while having free craft making available for kids. Candace Ryan of Lower Macungie Township, who had three kids making lollipop flowers in Cottage, said, "This is the first time we’ve ever experienced Snowblast. We were driving through Emmaus and it looked amazing, so we stopped to see what was going on. We’ll come back next year."
West Valley Presbyterian Church at 326 Main St. hosted local artists at work on their crafts. EAC president Bob Boehmer was there, working on an acrylic painting of evergreen trees in warm tones. As noted on the EAC website, www.emmausarts.org, "Bob’s images have received numerous awards for artistic excellence and have been reproduced as limited edition prints. His work is well collected among individuals and corporations throughout the east coast of the United States and can be found at Bach & Company Art and Framing Gallery in Emmaus, Pennsylvania and the Dolphin Watch Gallery on the Outer Banks of North Carolina."
Tamela Seitz, a fiber artist from Lower Macungie Township, worked on a purple cotton scarf at her loom. She said, "Weaving is my passion, my obsession, and I’ve been doing it since 1990." She sells her works at local craft shows and festivals.
Shane Flexer displayed his many sassafras bark ornaments on a small wire tree while carving another one. He recently moved back to the Lehigh Valley from central Georgia after losing his job and decided to pursue woodworking full time. Settling in Hosensack, he, too, travels to art shows and festivals
Horse and carriage rides starting on Minor Street and a hike on Klines Lane were cancelled on Saturday, February 5, due to icy road conditions. All indoor venues were open, including storytelling at the Emmaus Public Library, Native American crafts and a drum circle at the Seventh Generation Charter School and games, crafts and food at St. Matthew’s E.C. Church at 5th and Ridge Sts.
EAC’s next community program is the Earth Art Rain Barrel Project in mid April. Check their website, www.emmausarts.org, for more details.