Icetravaganza Fun Warms Up Freight House Crowd
On a day before record low temperatures were predicted to freeze the Quad-Cities, hundreds of people spent a brrrrr-tiful afternoon celebrating winter’s wiles during the free Icetravaganza at Davenport’s Freight House.
Mammoth ice sculptures were sliced and sawed, children frolicked in play areas, little girls smiled at all manner of “Frozen” and princess related items and people enjoyed hot soup and drinks as they perused a plethora of swag in a bustling market atmosphere. Despite the frosty temps dropping icicles on Saturday and the subzero apocalypse foretold, moods were bright and sunny throughout.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been down to the Freight House, and when it’s cold it’s nice to get the kids out of the house,” said Bez McMullen, 34, of Rock Island, who was accompanied by her daughter, Stanzi, 6.
“I’m really surprised at how many people are here, we didn’t know what to expect, but it’s a pretty cool event,” said Kara Smith, 34, of Moline, who brought her son Henry, 3.
Outside the Freight House, ice sculptures of everything from a swirl of eagles ready to take flight to a princess’ throne drew huge crowds circled around them, as sculptors melted and chipped away at new creations.
“It’s been awesome,” said Dawson List, 47, of New Orleans, as he prepared an ice dragon. “I’ve been doing this over 20 years, it’s always fun and people always like it. It’s great to see the looks on their faces when they’re watching.”
Working with 300 pound blocks, List and his companions have been creating the transient artworks all week for the event, and the chilly efforts were greatly appreciated.
“It’s really cool, I like how much detail they put into the ice sculptures, and it’s cool that you can take pictures with them and kind of explore,” said Ashley Morris, 24, of Moline.
“I liked all the sculptures, they were pretty,” said Makayla Curry, 7, of Rock Island.
“It was cool sitting on the throne and seeing them do the ice sculptures,” said Fred Stumpff, 9, of Davenport.
Meanwhile, in more balmy climes inside the Freight House, cash registers binged and conversation buzzed as hundreds of people mingled throughout the string of shops. Vendors were stoked with the reception for the annual event’s fourth year.
“It’s been wonderful for us, we’ve been able to educate people on our Winter Reading Program, our Harry Potter event, the Fairmount Library’s 10 year anniversary and a lot of other great events,” said Amber Carlson, 31, Youth Services Coordinator for the Davenport Public Library, who passed out flyers and chatted up kids and parents.
“We’re doing amazing business today, we’ve had to bring in four additional shipments of stuff just to keep up,” said Phill Groh, 21, the co-owner of Eastern Iowa Baking Company, which served up hot muffins, cookies and other sugary delicacies. “I think people regardless of the weather, people want to come out and have a good day and have a good time.”