Meltdown Winter Ice Festival & Art in Richmond, IN

ice festival

It was only fitting that it was snowing when Keith and I set out for Richmond, Indiana. Swirling snowflakes were the perfect backdrop for the 9th Annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. Richmond is located in historic Wayne County Indiana. Nancy Sartain of Visit Richmond Indiana set up our hosted trip. They set up a terrific agenda of wonderful things to see and do!

Meltdown Winter Ice Festival

While we stopped at various places during our trip to Richmond, our main focus was the amazing Meltdown Winter Ice Festival! We had never been to anything like this. There was a whole array of family activities available. Since this was our first time, we wanted to see the beauty of the ice sculptures. It was the artwork that held my attention. How they could work with something so fragile and not break it I couldn’t understand!

Beautiful ice sculpture!

Art at the Ice Festival

We witnessed artists both Friday and Saturday night literally carving blocks of ice into sculptures using chisels, handsaws, chainsaws, and blowtorches! Downtown Richmond came alive with crystal ice sculptures mostly at Elstro Plaza, but we saw sculptures throughout the downtown! As I saw in one website listing, the downtown becomes an ice art gallery!

Saturday night two teams battled out during a show down between Team Fire and Team Ice. Team Fire eventually won out. It was a close battle!

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Team ice working on their ice sculpture.

My favorite part of the ice festival event was Saturday morning. The day was clear, and we were able to visit the sculptures. Many were interactive. Some were thrones you could sit on. My favorite ice sculpture was a pair of angel wings. They are so beautiful and like one store owner said, “We get to enjoy them long after the event until they melt.”

ice festival

It is the festival that keeps on giving

Art in Wayne County

Besides the beauty of the ice sculptures, we, along with the travel blogger Brandy and Matt Gleason of Gleason Family Adventure were provided a tour of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church’s Tiffany Windows. Nancy Sartain of Visit Richmond met us at the church that was built by Daniel Reid in honor of his parents. The interior of the church was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The architecture is amazing, and the church also has a 1905 Richmond made Starr concert grand piano! There is also a beautiful 1906 Hook & Hastings pipe organ. Frederick Chatfield provided us with an amazing concert! The community is working to make this an event space since the church is no longer open. The updated name will be the Reid Center!

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This is one of the many Tiffany windows!

The Richmond Art Museum

The Richmond Art Museum is the only one that I have ever seen that was attached to a high school! The museum is pretty amazing. Louise Ronald of Visitor Services shared that the museum came to be because of efforts of Richmond citizens. “In the 1890’s Richmond was a manufacturing and transportation hub and there were many wealthy patrons. Richmond groups worked together to form an art association.”

The forerunner was Mrs. Johnston Vinsion. She and the Association began an art show asking artists to send in their art from all over the country. Eventually they narrowed the art show down to local and regional artists.

While there is now a permanent collection, the annual art show takes up much of the art space when it happens shining art on local talent

Amos Lemon self-portrait.

One special exhibit that is coming up was The Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation exhibit. We happened to meet the Burkharts while staying at Seldom Scene Meadow Bed & Breakfast. The art of their late son, Amos Lemon Burkhart will be on display. The Foundation’s goal “is to sustain and promote the legacy of the artist Amos Lemon Burkhart and create a new conversation about creativity, mental illness, and addiction in order to help young artists stay alive and make art.

All high school students attending will go through this exhibit.

The Ice Festival brought me to Richmond, Indiana, but it was only one of the things that made me want to stay! There is so much to love in Wayne County, history, art, culture, Seldom Scene Meadow B & B, and great food! The question is not if we will be back, just when!

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