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December 04, 2016
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Fire and ice

Ice carver Neil Trimper executed sculptures for onlookers at Crystal Cabin Fever in Lakeville, PA, near Hawley.

Although I was loath to do so, I left the dog at home on Saturday, knowing that my trip to Lakeville, PA near Hawley ( was going to be cold. “Crystal Cabin Fever,” the annual celebration of all things ice has been on my radar for years, and I was determined to not miss out this time around. The factory, which offers tours and a variety of events throughout the year, relies on frigid temps, so I donned my boots and gloves and layered up, prepared for the best exhibit and worst thermometer reading. My first stop was at the ice-carving demonstration outside, with chainsaw artist Neil Trimper displaying his skills, right next door to Ray Keller’s glass blowing booth, both of which drew a crowd all day. Keller’s fire was cool to observe, but not warm enough to melt Trimper’s impressive blocks of ice, and I warmed my hands by the bonfire, before heading indoors to check out the icy slide, hot chocolate and enormous sculptures, all of which were made of (you guessed it) ice.

As kids shrieked with glee on the slide, I took in the incredible display, which included a New York skyline, Statue of Liberty, Egyptian pyramids and Sphynx, replicas of Mt. Rushmore, the Eiffel Tower and more. As if on a frozen trip around the world, I gaped in awe at the gigantic blocks of ice that made up an enormous Roman Coliseum, which I learned was comprised of 150 individual pieces and weighed in at more than 40,000 pounds. Thankful that the factory provides a “warm-up” room on the premises, I opened and closed the door quickly, happy that I had made the right decision and left the “mutt” home while her “Jeff” took the tour.