The chainsaws and blowtorches fire up on Jan. 24, kicking off Richmond’s sixth annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. This event turns downtown Richmond into an unforgettable destination where custom ice carvings, thrilling ice competitions (ice fights), lively winter activities, and fun collide…and it’s all free.
Watch the ice fly as world renowned ice artists use their polished skills, imagination, and passion to transform blocks of ice into stunning frozen masterpieces. Take in the magical creations along Main Street and Elstro Park Plaza. Meet the artists and pose with more than 35 dazzling ice sculptures. During the festival, over 22 tons of ice will be intricately designed and sculpted into works of art.
The Family Fun Zone is an interactive ice park with an array of games skillfully crafted entirely from ice – corn hole, ping pong, mini golf, and skee-ball are just some of the fun activities to be enjoyed. Other highlights include fire shows, Magical Snowflakes on Main Scavenger Hunt, carriage rides, Frozen Fairy Trail, Frosty Mug Pub Crawl, musical performances, Lego competition, Chili for Charity, Paint and Take Souvenir, local food trucks, fireworks, and more.
The main event is the two no-holds-barred “Meltdown Throwdown” ice sculpting competitions between pro carvers and 1,200 lbs. of ice. The crowd is the judge for this event as these artists go head-to-head to see who can create the best ice sculpture the fastest. These high-octane ice fights will take place Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26. Competitions on both nights will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Elstro Park Plaza, downtown Richmond.
All ice sculptures will remain on display, weather permitting.