Enjoying the winter cold

Citizens of Waterloo and their pets embraced the cold weather to participate in the seventh annual Ice Dogs Festival in Uptown Waterloo on Saturday afternoon.

This was a transition year for the event, as it moved from its traditional venue in the Regina Street parking lot to the public square.

“I was confident it would be a successful event,” said Angela Vieth, city councilor for ward three. Vieth expressed how impressed she was by the high turn-out that was seen early in the day. It was estimated that 2,000 people attended the event.

Festival events included ice sculpting, an ice slide and dog sled rides for children and displays of the National Service Dogs.

This year, the new skating rink in Uptown Waterloo brought new activities to the festival.

“We’ve got public skates in between various demonstrations by community groups,” said Colleen Dostle, festival co-ordinator for the City of Waterloo.

“We’re going to have the skating club here to do a demo and the Concordia Club to do an [“EisStock”] ice sledding event,” said Vieth, regarding the specific rink events.

Cathy Coulter, a University of Waterloo fine arts graduate and an ice sculptor for Iceculture Inc., used a chainsaw, chisels and grinders for her role in the festival, which involved cutting and designing blocks of ice.

“I am going to be carving a husky for the dog festival and then a figure skater a little later,” she said.

“The one thing about having [previous festivals] in the Regina Street lot is that we had to tear down all the ice sculptures to get it back to being a parking lot on Monday,” explained Dostle.

In the public square however, the sculptures are not an obstruction to weekday business. “All the ice features will stay up until they melt,” Vieth assured, allowing anyone who missed the festival to still enjoy the works of art.

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