Peter Slavin at work on an ice sculpture.

by Christine Wolkin

The Chestnut Hill Business District invites residents to “chill out” at its Fourth Annual “Valentines on Ice” celebration on Friday, Feb. 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Laurel Hill Gardens. The nursery will play host to an Arctic Village – an ice village complete with polar bears, a walrus throne and an igloo.

The event was  Sunday, February 11 from 12 to 5 p.m., however, recent weather forecasts for heavy rains convinced organizers to move the date.

And those organizers remain optimistic that the event will be a success.

“Valentines on Ice event that will give visitors and locals even more of a reason to love Chestnut Hill,” said Philip Dawson, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business District.

During Friday’s event, Chestnut Hill visitors can view nearly 20 masterfully crafted ice sculptures outside shops and businesses along Germantown Avenue crafted by Fear No Ice, the world’s first and only performance ice sculpting company. The world-renowned and Philadelphia-based team will also sculpt and perform live during the celebration from noon to 2 p.m.

“Ice is this magical experience,” said ice sculptor Peter Slavin, creative partner of Ice Sculpture Philly. “As long as we’re having a good time, our goal is to make the world cooler.”

Last year, the Mount Airy resident and father of two carved characters from “Frozen” and other cool sculptures from a huge block of ice. As an extra surprise, Queen Elsa herself made an appearance and was available for wintry photos.

Slavin has traveled to more than 150 countries, performing theatrical ice sculpting shows and competing in ice sculpting contests around the world, including the Winter Olympics. A combination of action adventure, slapstick humor, drama and audience participation, Ice Sculpture Philly performances are always made with fun and 100 percent Philadelphia water.

“In seven to 15 minutes we’ll sculpt 3,000 pounds of ice,” said Slavin.

When it’s time for a break from the chilly weather, stop by one of five “Heart-Warming Stations” located between the 7900 and 8600 block of Germantown Avenue for fire pits, wine and cheese tastings, hot beverages, and snacks.

Or, if you’re still in need of a gift for your special Valentine, take advantage of “red-hot” Valentines shopping promotions during the last shopping weekend before the holiday at participating retailers.

If you spot two giant red hearts on Germantown Avenue, take a selfie with your Valentine and share that social media-worthy photo. Tag #chestnuthillpa at one of these “I heart CH” photo spots for a chance to win a $100 gift card, good to use at participating businesses in Chestnut Hill.

This event is free and taking place mostly between the 7900 and 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue.

For more information, visit www.chestnuthillpa.com.

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