Two new attractions planned for Ice TimePublished 9:46pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Ice Time, Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce’s 17th annual winter arts festival Feb. 2 in the central business district, will try again to launch two new events, a sledding hill and a skating rink, President Dr. Tim Dowsett said Wednesday evening at the Business After Hours in the Chamber office of the depot.
Dowsett chaired Ice Time for 10 years, enlivening a slow time between the holidays and spring. There will be three more restaurants competing in the professional chili cook off. There is an amateur bracket to involve the community.
Members of Michiana Ice Carving Association cut approximately 40 400-pound blocks into art sculptures beginning at 8 a.m.
Front Street would be closed from High Street to the bridge for the sledding hill coordinated by City Manager Kevin Anderson and city personnel, weather permitting.
The fire department is overseeing the new ice rink in the parking lot at the corner of Main and Front streets.
The social networking event was chaired by Kim MacGregor of Edward Jones.
“We did five of these events last year with an average of 30 at each,” when Kris Lamphere of WHO kNEW? Consignment was the chair.
“Our goal is five as well this year. We’ve already scheduled two with a third we’re working on a date.”
March 5’s Business After Hours takes place at The Timbers of Cass County, followed by May 1 at Heddon Museum.
“Last year, the Chamber successfully hosted nine events,” MacGregor said.
Different board members chair each event.
Lamphere, Chamber secretary, co-chaired August’s 23rd Rod and Roll with Jen and Dave Stolpe of Dowagiac Auto Body. In attendance were Sue Kazlauskas of The Marshall Shoppe and her husband, Ed, of Jim D’s Body Shop, who helped organize Rod and Roll the first two decades. It averages 180 to 200 vehicles each summer.
“Honor Credit Union’s crew helps us out,” Lamphere said.
This month, Program Director Vickie Phillipson focuses on grant-writing and updating the event brochure for visitors. It will be available online this year.
Plus, the Chamber sponsors the 74-year-old Miss Dowagiac scholarship pageant. Nine young women vie for $4,500 as well as Erica Greenwood’s title Feb. 9.
“Since the scholarship fund was established in 2000,” Phillipson said, “53 young ladies have received scholarships totaling more than $32,000 … 46 percent of that money has been used at SMC.”
Past queens Courtney Livingston and Gabrielle Dorman debut as pageant directors.
“Last year, including the DDA’s concert series, grants totaled more than $31,000. Corporate and other local sponsorships for our events surpassed $44,000 last year, which was wonderful support from the community,” Phillipson said. “I have good news to report. We just received confirmation this week that the Pokagon Fund has given us another $5,000 grant for Summer in the City,” Dowagiac’s oldest event, the three-day July festival formerly known as Fun Fest.
In partnership with May’s Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, “The Chamber/DDA goal is to attract business to the community and tourism,” Phillipson said.
She also provides scheduling and fundraising for the communitywide May garage sale weekend, Beckwith Park concerts all summer, October’s 2-year-old Under the Harvest Moon and Dowagiac’s Old-Fashioned Christmas holiday weekends, including the parade.
Besides jeweler Jim Frazier, who brought Ice Time with him from South Haven, board members on hand were Sue Kazlauskas, attorney Mark Herman and Mary Cooper, Leader Publications’ niche products sales director.
Cooper is helping revive the chamber directory in mid-April as a small, glossy digest distributed through the Daily News and tourist outlets.
Leader collaborated with the Chamber on a holiday window-decorating contest won by Imperial Furniture.
The Chamber needs two new board members and chairs for the Christmas parade and Ice Time.
Patty Patano of Cass County Council on Aging won a $25 gift certificate answering MacGregor’s trivia questions, such as how much money does a Monopoly game contain? ($15,140); what percentage of notes printed are one-dollar bills? (45 percent); what is the nearest publicly-traded stock to the depot? (Dollar General); what team did Sports Illustrated predict to finish No. 1 in college football? (Alabama); how many ways are there to make change for a dollar? (283); and what was the stock price at close Jan. 16 of Whirlpool? ($102.79).