Ice Fest carves window to Dubuque's past - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ice Fest carves window to Dubuque's past

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Dubuque's Ice Harbor was built to protect wooden ships from ice floes. Dubuque's Ice Harbor was built to protect wooden ships from ice floes.

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The eighth annual Ice Fest attracted hundreds Sunday afternoon.

That's at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

Part of Ice Fest includes ice harvesting demonstrations.

"That's how Dubuquers kept their food cold and frozen throughout the summer," museum marketing and sales director John Sutter said. "They harvested ice in the winter and kept it all summer, packed in sawdust. So we use that opportunity to teach a historic lesson, as well."

Even the very harbor on which the museum is located says something about Dubuque's icy past.

"Ice Harbor got its name because it was built as a harbor to protect wooden boats from ice floes coming down the Mississippi River," Sutter said.

Ice Fest also includes snow- and ice-sculptures.

Standing next to his work of art, sculptor Hugh McCarron said, "it's fun to watch it from a cube to what it is now, and in a few hours, it'll be better yet."

Not all fun, however, involves freezing. Sunday afternoon, kids inside enjoyed some monkey business with Curious George, a favorite friends from TV and books.

"We love George," festival goer Laura Pfannenstiel said. "My four-year-old will tell you that 'he is my favorite show, and I must watch him daily.'"

She and her family came from the Illinois Quad Cities to catch George and the Ice Fest. It was their second year to attend.

Whether ice bowling, sledding down the slick hill of snow or playing some snow volleyball, people of all ages got a slice of the importance of ice.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium's Ice Fest continues on for the next two weekends. All activities are included in the price of admission.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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