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A Day of Fire & Ice: Revere Beach Winter Wonderland Festival featured ice sculpting and chili cook-offs

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By Anthony Boyd

The Revere Beach Winter Wonderland Festival kicked off for the first time on February 3rd, featuring ice sculptures from world-class artists, food vendors, unique seasonal pop-up shops, and many winter-themed activities.

The event was sponsored by many local and global businesses such as Cricket Wireless, Global Cares, Springhill Suites and many more.

The four world class artists that were on the scene sculpting were:

  • David Barclay is an artist, photographer, and ice sculptor living in Northampton, MA, and Southwestern France. He has been carving competitively for seven years and is an organizer of the Northampton, MA, Ice Art Festival. The name of the ice sculpture he designed was called “Running Tiger”.
  • Andy Campbell studied sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and was introduced to ice sculpting by Donald Chapelle at Brilliant Ice Sculpture. This is his first entry into a solo carving competition. The name of the ice sculpture he designed was called “Jelly”.
  • Chip Koser is from Mashpee, MA. and he is a multiple NICA medal winning competitive carver. He competed at Ice Alaska – World Ice Sculpting Championship. More of his carving demonstrations took place at community events like First Night in Boston. The name of the ice sculpture that he designed was called “Catch me if you can”.
  • Tony Perham is from Vermont and has been professionally sculpting snow for nine years. He competitively sculpts with a team called The Pour Saps, representing the state of Vermont at five national championships. Tony’s work was featured on Disney+ series called “Best in Snow”. The name of the ice sculpture that he designed was called “Vera the Sea Dragon”.

This was one of the many things that attendees were looking forward to the most.

Long time resident Anthony Parziale, found this event to be a great event to have in Revere.

“It was pretty cool to see the ice sculptures in action with their chainsaws, sawing through the ice,” he said.

Parziale said he liked Andy Campbell’s sculpture “Jelly” the most.

“It’s about time that the City of Revere has events like these, we need more events like this,” he said.

Parziale was also very excited for the grilled cheese and soup food stand along with getting to participate in the special sing-along with Disney’s Frozen Anna and Elsa.

He says that the Revere Beach Partnership committee does a great job with publicizing events such as this one.

Besides the ice sculptures, there was also a winter market that was happening inside the Marriott Springhill Suites.

The market featured many local businesses such as the Revere Karate Academy, Tippys, Mytiana Apparel, Masshole Biscuit and many more.

Doreen DiRienzo, who is the owner of the Revere Karate Academy was at the Winter Wonderland festival selling boxing shirts, membership applications and even Revere Karate water bottles.

“The Revere Beach Sponsorship set this event up so beautifully,” she said.

DiRenzo said this is a great event to help her publicize her business, the Revere Karate Academy.

She likes the event because it helps show Revere pride and it gets the whole community together.

“There is something for everyone at this event,” DiRenzo said.

She recommends that the Revere Beach Partnership Committee should make this an annual event because it allows for more local business involvement.

Ward 5 Councillor Angela-Guarino-Sawaya said that it’s a great event because it gets the whole community together but it lacks certain aspects for people in the community.

“If they keep the event in February then they should implement something for Black History Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” she said.

There were also food truck vendors who were in attendance selling different types of cuisines.

Some of the food vendors who were in attendance were Gonzalez, Wicked Tasty, Exquisite, Saia Soups, and Canterbury Kettle Corn,

However, many of the food vendors were packed with lines of people but nothing was like the Canterbury Kettle Corns line. John Dupont, who is the owner of Canterbury Kettle Corn, was really thrilled about participating in the festival.

“I really like the location of the event, especially with it being at a beach,” he said.

The three different types of kettle corn flavors that they had on sale were traditional, maple, and caramel (most popular).

Dupont said that it is his first time being in Revere but he has done other local festivals in the past.

The event also featured a chili cook off contest, hosted by Mayor Patrick Keefe, who also presented his own chili recipe, along with many local food businesses for the honors of best chili recipe. Some of the businesses who entered were:

  • Henz Chili Bowl from Ipswich, MA
  • VK’s Chili from Woburn, MA
  • Fat Jim’s Chili
  • Chili Haus

From all of the organizers who helped create the event to all of the community participating, the Winter Wonderland festival provided a sense of cheerfulness over the winter doldrums.

Haley Rosenblatt, who helped organize the event, said she loved seeing all the ice sculptures.

“This event helps bring the community together and everyone seems to love it for our first time running it,” Rosenblatt said.

The Revere Beach Partnership Committee plans on continuing this event for many years to come and will include more ice sculptures next year.


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