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Ice sculptures, safe from vandalism, attract admirers Saturday

  • An ice sculpture created by Mark Bosworth depicting a knight riding a dragon in front of the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, as part of the 96th annual Winter Carnival, on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • An ice sculpture created by Mark Bosworth depicting a knight riding a dragon in front of the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, as part of the 96th annual Winter Carnival, on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



Recorder Staff
Saturday, February 03, 2018

GREENFIELD — Five-year-old Conor O’Connell tugged his parents along Main Street Saturday afternoon, eagerly hurrying from one ice sculpture to the next with an expression of awe on his face.

The 11 ice sculptures, from a Bruins hockey player to a family of penguins, were a welcome presence downtown as part of the 96th annual Winter Carnival. Throngs of people, especially families, walked up and down both sides of the street to admire each one, while others pulled over their vehicles to take a quick glimpse.

A knight riding a dragon, carved by Mark Bosworth, seemed to be a crowd favorite. People gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, taking turns photographing the sculpture.

“This is our community, and (the ice sculptures) are a really important gift,” said Keleigh Pereira, of Turners Falls, who came to Greenfield to see the ice sculptures with her friend Lev Ben-Ezra, also of Turners Falls.

“It’s the ice sculptures, but it’s not just ice sculptures,” Pereira continued. “It’s an opportunity to pull people out into the community, even when it’s cold and people might not be out.”

But without the selflessness of volunteers, it’s possible the ice sculptures would not have lasted until Saturday morning. In previous years, many of the sculptures have been subject to vandalism. Four of seven sculptures were destroyed during 2017’s Winter Carnival.

This year, the Greenfield Recreation Department arranged to have volunteers patrol the downtown area, by foot or in their vehicles, in two-hour shifts from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. Efforts will continue Saturday night into Sunday morning, with the Greenfield Police Department also patrolling the area.

“It’s really sad to have to do that,” Pereira said, adding how thankful she was for the volunteers’ help. “It’s amazing people were staying up and out in the cold.”

“It’s unfortunate,” agreed Conor’s mother, Liz O’Connell, of Greenfield.

The O’Connell family has made it a tradition to check out the ice sculptures since Conor was born, and it’s a feature of the Winter Carnival he’s come to love.

“This is probably his favorite part next to the cardboard sled race,” O’Connell said of seeing the ice sculptures.

Winter Carnival activities continue into Sunday, including the K9 keg pull at 1 p.m. and the cardboard sled contest at 2 p.m, both at Beacon Field. To see a full event schedule, visit www.greenfieldrecreation.com/wintercarnival.