Thanks to many a hotel party (we're talking about wedding receptions, New Year's Eve extravaganzas, etc.), you're likely familiar with the concept of an ice luge -- a carved ice sculpture that delivers alcoholic concoctions to your waiting lips. What you're probably less acquainted with is the art of creating and shaping the magic in ice. A melty yet solid medium, ice offers both challenges and rewards to those who dare to confront it with saws and chisels, and we're guessing these incredible visions accidentally wind up shattered into a million little cubes on occasion. At the Fête de Glace, or Festival of Ice for the non-Francophones out there, you're bound to see both the triumphs and the disappointments inherent to this frosty art as professional ice carvers battle for recognition on the sidewalks of North Main Street in St. Charles (starting at the 100 block). Today's festival begins with a group competition at 9:30 a.m., followed by an individual contest at 12:30 p.m. and a people's choice award ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Stay toasty between the clashes of the carvers with some hot cocoa by the fire pit or a stroll down the cobblestone street. Admission to the Fête is free; learn more at www.historicstcharles.com.
Sat., Jan. 28, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 2012

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