Uptown Art District: the meltdown

Suzanne Kaiser, Feature Reporter

Every year December marks the beginning of winter festivities in Michigan City’s old downtown, also known as the Uptown Art District. Things that could be found there were the Snowflake Parade, the Festival of Lights, and ice sculptures. This year, however, some things have changed. The ice sculptures that once decorated the corners of Franklin St. will not be returning this year.
To the surprise of many people, there will not be any ice sculptures displayed in the Uptown Art District this winter. Instead, a different festival is being planned to take place in February. In the meantime, Chris Grohs, an active community board member, was willing to give some details as to why there will not be any sculptures this year.
Grohs said, “I personally believe that events should only become a recurring tradition if they are a total home run. For example, the taste of Michigan City is an event worthy of repeating.” In light of that, it has been said that a contributing factor to the down fall of the displays of ice could have been due to lack of advertisement. The majority of people in Michigan City were unaware that there were ever even ice sculptures in the Uptown Art District. Grohs agreed that the board should have tried to do a little more with advertising to get the word out. Some things that could have been done would have been on-air ads and flyers.
Some businesses found in the Uptown Art District were affected by the lack of beautiful displays of ice. Businesses such as the Horizon Bank and Pub Co. Printing used to have ice sculptures outside of them. Collectively, they feel like the ice sculptures were a lovely thing to have in the city. Not only were they pleasing to the eye, but they were also yet another positive thing to help represent the city.
For anyone who did not know that the Uptown Art District ever had ice sculptures, it may be too late to see them at all. In place of of the sculptures, the city is constructing a new ice rink for downtown. Grohs said that the board believes it will benefit the public a lot more. Another positive, he said, was that the cost of the skating rink is a lot less.
Although there will not be any ice sculptures decorating the sides of Franklin St. this year, the public should still head down to the Uptown Art District and to the Festival of Lights in Washington Park. The ice has melted away, but everyone’s spirits are still high in hopes that the ice sculptures will once again be found in the Uptown Art District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email