How To Make A Real FestivICE Yeti

Editor’s Note: FestivICE presented by York Traditions Bank returns January 17-19, 2019. For details, click here!

Some creatures only exist in our minds. Tree elves, unicorns, and the boogeyman are pretty good examples. Some mythical beasts actually live and breathe in this world. The FestivICE Yeti is such a creature.

If you’re open to going against the will of nature and giving rise to such an animal, below you will find three ingredients it takes to create the illusive public event and all of its wild characters.

It Takes A Team

What’s the best way to kill an event? Trying to make it happen without help. In the case of FestivICE presented by York Traditions Bank, York’s annual “Laugh at the Cold” ice festival, countless individuals and organizations come to the table to bring the event and its Yeti mascot to life. In 2019, the FestivICE event is going from one day to three days. It’s going from six ice sculptures to over twenty.

How do great events grow? They grow with key supporters like York Traditions Bank giving them initial life. They grow with new sponsors like Penn Waste coming on board with others who have provided 18 additional ice sculptures surrounding Cherry Lane Park. They grow by partnering with non-profit groups like Children’s Aid Society that provide volunteers for event activities like operating the 40-foot ice slide and like Cultural Alliance of York County, which teamed up with FestivICE on fun family programming during CelebrateARTS. And it all starts with the team of front office staff at the York Revolution, who are dedicated to surrounding community members with cool experiences all year round.

It Takes Experience

So where does a person start to make an event like FestivICE a reality? Well, the folks at City Hall are always a great resource to help understand whether you’re ready to bring a Yeti onto the streets. The public works department – the fire department, the police department, the health department – are responsible for the well-being of our community, and they have a ton of knowledge when it comes to what will work and what likely won’t, what is safe and what’s not, what will cause a traffic jam and what will keep the city moving.

FestivICE is produced by a division of the York Revolution called Eventive. Eventive is a five-year-old entity that spends all 12 months of the year focused on making great events happen in downtown York and around York County. Eventive never would have existed without the years of event planning and production expertise that the York Revolution accumulated as it became a stalwart of community entertainment here in York.

It Takes Your Soul

No, creating a FestivICE Yeti or any other public event doesn’t crush your soul…but it will try. When building a public event, there will no doubt be setbacks, false starts, no-go’s, reroutes, and defeats. It’s tough work.

Most event planners will tell you that they used to think events “just happened.” We used to think somebody just said, “Let’s have an ice festival!!!” and then a bunch of ice blocks stacked themselves up, some randos stopped by and made ice art out of them, and Janey/Joe Public busted onto the scene with their fire pits, invited a few friends, and started toasting marshmallows.

It’s just that simple, right? No…no, it’s not. But there’s good news. It’s absolutely worth it, and it’s not impossible. Anybody can do it. Those who are ready to go against the will of nature and put their hearts and souls on the line to make interesting experiences for other people might one day get to hear their event beasts roar!

– Adam Nugent, Director of Eventive

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