Smiles and Sculptures from Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival

Smiles and Sculptures from Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 11, 2016)

Ferndale, MI – Paige Ayer and her family came all the way from Amherstburg Canada to check out the ice sculptures and reindeer of the Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival.  “I like seeing the sculptures. They’re neat,” she said.  “I take pictures so I can look at them later and have memories.  They don’t have anything like this at home.”

The Holiday Ice Festival, which is organized by the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, draws people to the 9 Mile and Woodward area for a day of merry activities and hopefully some shopping and dining. It also gives a chance for residents to connect and make memories.

Janine Souther, manager of Cupcake Station, said her shop is a place for people to come and stay warm as they make the rounds.  “It’s nice to have something festive,” she said.  Each year Cupcake Station hosts a holiday card making table for kids and adults to send greetings to deployed troops and local veterans.

Larry Saville, Cindy Burke and Richard Churchill manned the table, which this year featured cards designed by local artist Christine Spurbeck.  The cards will be sorted and mailed. Some will go to a recent Ferndale High School graduate, Patrick Reiter, who is serving as a Navy Seabee in the Philipines.  Reiter uses his engineering skills to help construct whatever infrastructure may be needed such as docks, roads and bridges.

“To me its a nice way of letting the people who serve know they are remembered,” Churchill said. “I think about how happy they must be when then get the cards.”

Saville said he notices the way the kids concentrate when they make the cards.  “Sometimes they write messages like ‘thank you for your service’ or ‘get well soon.’  But other times they draw pictures and the message is in how much of themselves they put into the drawings.  I think the people who get the cards can see that.”

Cupcake Station also had another fun part of this year’s festival – the unveiling of a mural on the side of their building.  The mural, which features several sneakers with their laces tied together in knots, was painted by the community during the Funky Ferndale Art Fair as a project of the Arts and Cultural Commission.  “It reminds me of kids and diversity,” Souther said.  “I liked how the one festival linked to this festival.  Festivals are so important to Ferndale and having art takes something from one festival and ties it to the next festival is a great idea.”

The festival also included a lunch with Santa held at Rosie O’Gradys, and pictures with Santa near the warming tent for the rest of the day.  “There are a lot of good little boys and girls in Ferndale,” said the man with the red suit, white beard, and the cool Santa shades.

For information on upcoming events, check out

For a story about the lives of the reindeer at the festival, check out

For more on the Ferndale DDA visit

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