Our Town Belfast will host an ice festival Feb. 27 where ice sculptures will be placed throughout downtown, along with some ice sculpture demonstrations. City Council voted to approve placing 11 of the sculptures on city property at its Feb. 16 meeting.

There will be 12 ice sculptures, sponsored by local businesses, placed in or near downtown, Executive Director Zach Schmesser said. The sculptures will be placed at locations along Main Street, as well as near the entrance of the footbridge, Post Office Square, the Dairy Queen and Front Street Pub.

Since the rate of coronavirus infections seems to be decreasing around the state, Schmesser thought it might be a good time to host a public event, he said. He encouraged participants to wear masks and observe social distance.

The idea came from Tina Delsanto, owner of Delvino’s Grill and Pasta House, and Ryan Otis, owner of Rollie’s, to get people downtown during winter, Schmesser said.

The sculptures will remain in place until they melt, Schmesser said. The biggest concern about the event is the weather, Parks and Recreation Director Norm Poirier said. City Councilor Mike Hurley drew laughter from some councilors when he said, “There is no better way to guarantee warmer weather than to have an ice festival. Thank you.”

Councilor Paul Dean was concerned that ice chips might be flung onto the sidewalk during carving demonstrations, causing a safety issue. Schmesser said the carvers are professionals who create a safety barrier based on the tools they are using. And the four carving locations are places that are not on pathways, so people will have plenty of room to walk on the sidewalk unhindered.

The carving demonstrations will be at Post Office Square from noon to 1 p.m., Park on Main Street from 1 to 2 p.m., west side of the footbridge from 2 to 3 p.m., and 47 Main St., next to Rollie’s ice bar, from 3 to 4 p.m. There will be a community ice art sculpture that people can contribute to at the corner of Main and Cross streets from noon to 4 p.m.

Rollie’s ice bar will be open at 47 Main St. from 2 to 10 p.m. and Delvino’s ice bar will be open at the corner of Cross and Main streets.

Councilor Neal Harkness said he thinks the event could grow into a tradition. Hurley thanked Our Town Belfast for planning the event. “I think what’s good about this, it’s outdoors, it’s going to spread out and most of the people in Belfast are wearing masks.”

For more information about the event visit ourtownbelfast.org.