BY ROBERT TOMKAVAGE
Longtime Clarks Summit Festival of Ice attendees know where to go when they get a little chilly.
For about 10 years, First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit’s Chili Café has provided a little warmth at the February festival.
The 16th annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice will be held Friday through Sunday in Clarks Summit and the Abingtons. The festival will feature ice carving demonstrations, live gaming opportunities, musical entertainment and more. The “ICEtendo” theme pays homage to the Nintendo video game franchise.
The church at 300 School St. has been a longtime participant in the weekend-long event, hosting the chili cafe and serving as a hub for other festival events.
This year, the church will be serving up more than 20 kinds of chili from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, parishioner Barbara Pittman said. All the chili is made by parishioners; past years’ options have included spicy mac and cheese, beef and sausage, white chicken and corn, vegetarian, venison and even moose meat.
Proceeds from the chili sale support local service organizations, according to John Weiss, co-chairman of the Arts at First Presbyterian concert series committee.
“We feel like we’re part of the community, so we like to contribute something to the festival,” Weiss said.
The church’s event brings in several hundred dollars each year, co-chairman Dick Cochrane said.
Cochrane believes the festival events are important for a couple of reasons.
“It introduces people to our church and brings families together,” he said. “It allows people from all over to see the quality of merchants and the quality of the atmosphere on State Street.”
Laura Ancherani, executive director of the Abington Business & Professional Association, appreciates the church’s effort to make the event memorable for everyone.
“They make a conscious effort to get all ages involved, which is nice,” she said. “They really tie it all together.”
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Chill at these ice festival events
In addition to the chili cafe, the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit will host the following events during the 16th annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice:
- A Valentine’s Day coffeehouse event in the fellowship hall from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday. An octet from the Arcadia Chorale will sign love songs.
- A juried photography show, organized by the Northeast Photography Club, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Local artists and congregation members will have their work featured.
- A performance of “Honk Jr.” by students from the Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA Saturday at 2 p.m.
- Other highlights of the festival happening throughout Clarks Summit and neighboring communities include:
- A parade through downtown Clarks Summit, along South State Street, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
- A vendor market, featuring a Super Game Trailer with 10 stations and 250 games, at the Abington Heights Administration Building, 200 E. Grove St., Sunday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For a full schedule, visit www.facebook.com/csfesti valofice.