- February 22nd, 2015
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The Social Ice event is becoming a regular happening in Rochester during winter. Apparently, it was moved a bit later in February in the hopes of a bit more moderate cold, but that wind last night – whew!
The highlight is always the remarkable ice sculptures which decorate the Peace Plaza. Various restaurants each have a bar with a theme. Some of them include backdrops like a huge poster showing a pyramid to match an Egyptian theme.
I was wandering around with a pair of gloves which could allow me to control the camera but which were woefully inadequate for keeping my fingers warm. My fingers seem to be overly sensitive to the cold and have been for many years. Not sure if maybe I got them a little too cold at some point.
But I’m fascinated not only by all the many people who come out and brave the cold – and the place was jammed! – but also by those who spend the evening there behind the bars working.
Some of them are dressed in costumes of one sort or another – matching the theme, of course.
But all of them are spending a lot of time in the cold. I suppose if it weren’t for my very cold fingers, it would have not been too bad. I do, after all, have winter clothing to handle even colder temps. You have to do so in Minnesota!
And there were heaters everywhere, and everywhere there were heaters, there were people! I drove down just after sunset. I wanted to photograph the artwork with the lighting provided, but I also thought going early would mean a somewhat smaller crowd.
Well, not so much. While there were spaces here and there with fewer than 10 people per square yard, the bars were nearly all crowded as were the heaters, as I mentioned.
Many of the bars were serving warm beverages, but I think I saw as many folks walking by with a can of something cold, too.
It’s a Minnesota thing, I suppose. Braving the winter weather is just something the folks here do.
A couple years ago, my daughter treated me to a beer tasting event around the time of my birthday up in St. Paul. It was, of course, all outside. In January.
Social Ice ran from Thursday to Saturday – last night. And, for certain, there was no real concern about the ice artwork melting. Judging by the Saturday night crowd, I’d say this will continue as long as the organizers want to do it. There are many activities to draw folks downtown in the summer, so it’s great to see these winter events, too.