IceFest returns to Hamilton January 18th and 19th. The theme this year is Game Night.

What does the coming winter storm mean for Hamilton’s IceFest? ‘It’s perfect weather,’ organizer says

“We’ve got 12 carvers from all over the United States here, ready to compete (Saturday), and it’s our intention that they’re going to carve,” said Jacob Stone, chairman of the IceFest planning committee.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT ICEFEST: Mario, Luigi, Pikachu among the frozen stars you’ll see

The event’s times are today from 4-10 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday, Stone said, “It’s perfect weather today for IceFest, because it’s warm enough for spectators, but cold enough for ice,” as crews worked to cart ice sculptures out along the festival area by Friday’s 4 p.m. start time.

“Tomorrow, I know we’re expecting some snow and mixed weather,” Stone said. “The only thing that’s going to be problematic is rainy weather, but we’ve got a plan in place, and that (rain) is going to be passing by the time the event starts.”

The festival will keep half the sculptures in reserve, not showing them Friday, so they’re fresh and unmelted Saturday, he said. Those will go out Saturday as soon as the rain passes.

The sculptures going out Friday were to be covered with reflective coatings to preserve them against sleet or rain.

“Really, snow it’s not a problem,” Stone said. “It’s the sleet that can get tricky” in harming the ice artworks.

Downtown stores and restaurants were to be open, and a full list of them will be available at the festival’s information booth, “but as always, I encourage people to walk around and explore downtown,” he said.