Havre de Grace Ice Festival

Ice Festival

Havre de Grace, a Maryland port city sitting on the Susquehanna river, has a beautiful historic Old Town.  I have been through this region several times with the goal of taking the Lafayette walking tour when I had a free weekend.

\"HavreI had a stroke of good luck: I had a free weekend, good weather, and I quite literally tripped over an Ice Festival scheduled in Havre de Grace. I didn’t want to miss this rare gift, so I hopped in the car and took a drive south.

It was my first time attending and I didn’t have any idea of what to expect.  I found several streets of the Historic District closed to vehicles, with stalls and stands lining the road. A few shop owners were really into the spirit of the day – with one dressed in full fairy costume.  I didn’t know why she was in costume, but I assume it was a gimmick to attract customers to her shop.  I mean, it worked for me!  I learned a bit later that there is a theme for the ice festival every year, and this year’s theme was “Fairy Tales and Fantasy.”  This would explain the fairy wings and costumes scattered about the festival grounds.

I wish I had known there was a theme… I would have worn something more Fantastical.  A local radio DJ was playing music and making announcements for different events scheduled for Saturday. He was the one who explained the theme and encouraged costumes.

Hot Toddy Garden

\"HotI found what I thought was the Beer Garden. It turns out this is the Hot Toddy Garden!  Lovely and yes, I will, thank you.

They had a lovely assortment of hot and cold drinks, and I happily sampled their Winter Haven Coffee.  Ah… YUMMY!

This coffee definitely warmed my belly!






I also sampled McGregor’s Crab Wonton.  They had a popular food truck setup in the Hot Toddy area.  Those friend wonton’s were quite tasty, with a healthy scoop of crab salad.  A bit of research showed that McGregor Restaurant is a popular dining destination in Havre de Grace.  I did spot a river-side outdoor dining setup, but I didn’t stop to investigate.  The next time I’ve visiting the area, I’ll make sure to check out the restaurant itself.  If they could pop out amazing food in a food truck – I would have high hopes for an official restaurant.  (Sigh… I miss eating out!)

Festival Stands and Sculptures

The street is lined with ice sculptures, which made the event quite special.  Parents and their children pose before the sculptures, taking pictures and posing.  I could hear kids declaring THIS was their favorite sculpture. That is, until they got to the next one, then at sculpture became their new favorite one.

It was fun watching some kids squeal and laugh as they touched the ice, and other kids refusing to touch it.  At one station I had to laugh as the family dog started to lick the ice block base during a family photo.  Everyone was happy. This was a very family (and family dog!) friendly event.

I imagine it was just a joy for people to be outside on a nice weekend, and possibly a chance to return to some normalcy after the great “Pandemic Year.”

As the festival progressed, more characters started to arrive!

Havre de Grace is a beautiful port city settled just on Susquehanna river, full of history, beautiful buildings, good food and good fun.

I never did take that Lafayette walking tour.  Yet.  One day, with a friend and plans for dinner by the river.  For now, I’m looking forward to next year’s festival.