I love how the winter brings on so many unique events. I am always amazed by the incredible event ideas people come up with! Tuesday was no different. After perusing around the Internet early Tuesday morning, I came across an “Ice Battle” in downtown Grand Rapids. Being the curious soul that I am, I just had to look more into it. Turns out, some local ice carvers were turning Rosa Parks Circle (the ice skating rink downtown) into a large chess board and they were carving life size chess pieces out of ice. What!? I yelled across the hall to Shannon and told her we had to go check this out for ourselves.
Off we went. Making our way downtown.
--Now, I am going to let you in on a little secret. I knocked over every cone on my parallel-parking drivers test years ago, yet I somehow still managed to pass the test. To this day it is still a mystery to me. I decided this would be a good story to tell Shannon on our way downtown because I knew that most likely, we would have to parallel park. I was REALLY hoping there wouldn’t be any spots available on the street and we would be forced to park in a ramp. But of COURSE there was a spot on the street- RIGHT in front of where we needed to go. A spot most normal people would not pass up. (I would rather walk a mile than have to Parallel Park). “You can do it! You’ll be great!”, Shannon says to me as I nauseously look at the spot. With her confidence instilled in me, I tried my hardest.
Apparently my hardest was not hard enough. I ended up about a foot away from the curb and barely in the spot. So being the brilliant young ladies that we are, we decided to have Shannon try it instead. I hopped out of the car and started guiding her in. Well, Shannon definitely made up for the big gap I had originally left. She came so close to the curb that she actually went up on it! After a little finagling she made it in the spot (and off the curb). --
After our parking fiasco, we were off to the event. It was amazing to see how many people came down in the middle of their workday to check it out. The chessboard was unreal and larger than life. The fact that these guys can create this kind of art out of ice just blows my mind! We watched a live carving right in front of us where they used chainsaws and blowtorches to magically create one of the knights. They then set the board and were ready to play- but before they started one of their staff accidentally knocked over one of the pieces! (Insert dramatic gasp here!) Luckily they had a few backup pieces to play with.
It was awesome to see this event happen right in front of us, and I was once again reminded of just how unique West Michigan is. Did you know that there are two life size chessboards that are totally playable in West Michigan? Castle Farms and the Inn at Bay Harbor each have one!
Right now there are so many fun and innovative winter events such as the one Shannon and I went to on Tuesday, that happen throughout the season in different West Michigan destinations. We have made a list of all the winter festivals taking place this year and encourage everyone to check at least one out. Your mind will be blown at the incredible things that can be done with ice and snow!
January 13 - 15
January 25 - 29
January 26 - 30
January 27 - 30
February 3 - 6
February 18 - 21
February 18 - 20
For a complete list- check out our Winter Festival Preview here.
We have also announced a new winner for the Chateau Chantal giveaway! Jen from Big Binder has won the VIP wine tasting for 6! Congrats Jen!