‘Hamilton Goes Hollywood’ for Icefest 2015

Spectacular ice sculptures bring historic, popular movie titles to life

HAMILTON – More than 25,000 residents and visitors are expected to gather on the streets of downtown Hamilton Friday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 17 for IceFest 2015. With this year’s theme, “Hamilton Goes Hollywood,” the 80-plus sponsored sculptures will focus on everything from historic films to current, popular movies like “Jurassic Park” and “Frozen.”

“Every two years, because IceFest is an every-other-year event, we choose a specific theme, as we have in the past,” said Tim Naab, a member of Hamilton City Council and chair for IceFest. “We created a list of over 2,000 movie titles for our patrons to be able to select the movie of their choice.”

Hosted by the nonprofit City of Sculpture, IceFest has been marketed to area schools, businesses, churches and other community organizations over the past six months. Each sponsor chose a sculpture that they would like to have commissioned and placed along High Street during IceFest. Over the past few weeks, creators from the Forest Park-based Artic Diamond Ice Sculptures have been busy carving the ice sculptures from giant ice blocks.

In addition to viewing and voting for their favorite ice sculptures in the People’s Choice Awards, Naab said guests can participate in a variety of other events and activities throughout the weekend, including Artfest in the Government Services Center. Other highlights include a Technicolor Ice Walk on Friday at sunset around 6 p.m., an Ice Carving Competition on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Second Street, as well as the Human Dog Sled Races on Court Street on Saturday at 2 p.m. Children will enjoy an array of kid-friendly festivities, including movies, photo ops, bookmobile visits and more.

“The festival has continued to grow. Hamilton, Southwest Ohio and the states that surround us are very supportive of IceFest. We’ve had people come to visit from as far away as Minnesota, Massachusetts, Florida and beyond that come to Hamilton to view the sculptures. It’s caught on and gained national recognition,” Naab said.

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In keeping with this year’s movie theme, writing workshops and film screenings with local and national experts will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Miami University Hamilton Downtown as part of the “Bringing Hollywood to Hamilton Film and Writing Festival,” which is sponsored by Film Hamilton and Mad Anthony Writer’s Conference and BookFest ( and

“The organizers of Icefest approached Film Hamilton about a partnership,” said Steve Colwell, production executive with Film Hamilton. “This year’s theme of Icefest supports Film Hamilton’s quest to bring more films into our beautiful city.”

About a half a dozen movies have been filmed in Hamilton in the past 10 years, including the action thriller, “The Echo Effect,” which just wrapped up production in and around downtown, he said.

“IceFest is such a great event, and it brings so many people to downtown from outside of the area, we are honored to be a part of it. It’s a wonderful opportunity. Also, the timing that we have a film wrapping up right before IceFest, Hollywood did come to Hamilton, and hopefully will be coming back to Hamilton,” Colwell said.

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