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Ice sculptors ready for frozen fun in Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg

Sculpted Ice Works near Hawley is craving up more than 60 sculptures for Jim Thorpe and Stroudsburg's Winterfests.

LAKEVILLE, Pa. — With chainsaws in hand, employees at Sculpted Ice Works near Hawley are hard at work.

Ice sculptures are being craved for winter festivals this weekend in the Poconos.

"We've been working on this for a couple of weeks now, at this point, between making the ice and doing unique colors like that and designing, and this week is our big push," said Samuel Foster, the general manager at Sculpted Ice Works.

Jim Thorpe's Winterfest will feature 11 ice sculptures and an ice bar.

Stroudsburg's Winterfest will boast 51 sculptures and showcase a live ice carving demonstration on Courthouse Square.

Despite mild temperatures, employees here say the sculptures should last.

"The biggest damage to the ice sculpture is done by the sun. So, if they're out of the sun, they'll actually last for quite some time, even in above-freezing temperatures," said Foster.

Making ice sculptures is not an easy process. It takes about four days to turn water into ice, and then they can begin turning it into art.

"Once they're done freezing, we pull them out, cut them down to 10 inches, which is the industry standard size, and we store them in our freezers. From there, we either run them on the CNC and do some finished carving with a chainsaw and die grinders, or we'll do completely from scratch," Foster said.

More than 60 pieces will be sculpted for this weekend, and 28 of them will be hand-carved.

"They're very unique pieces. Ice does something to a character because you know some of these are cartoons and the way that there carved into the ice, the way it shimmers and everything, it kind of brings it to life," Foster said.

Jim Thorpe's Winterfest runs from Friday through Sunday.

Stroudsburg's Winterfest is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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