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Community

Bring on the cold

Ice sculpting at Ottawa festival encourages winter

OTTAWA – No one knows cold like those who take up ice sculpting.

Area lovers of winter, or those who think they just might be able to tolerate the cold, can seek art on Dec. 14 at Ice Odyssey, an ice sculpting event along the streets of downtown Ottawa.

Artists will transform blocks of ice into holiday artwork from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Madison Street. The public is welcome to stroll by and watch their progress.

Before the sculpting gets underway, visitors can get warm in the first OES Reindeer Run. This run-walk takes off from Ottawa Township High School, 211 E. Main St. Race day registration is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. The runners start at 8 a.m. and walkers at 8:15. There is an entry fee of $25.

Children 10 and younger have their own adventure in the Fun Run, which begins at 8:45 a.m.

Those attending the festival can take stagecoach rides for $1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jordon Block Park, 119 W. Main St. They also can look over the holiday bazaar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 725 LaSalle St. Items available include gift baskets, homemade soap, candles, glasswork, and jewelry – a variety of merchandise.

Visitors who want some chilly sports can head to the park to play nine holes of miniature golf from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and ring toss for $1. The games are made out of ice.

Santa and mascots will be downtown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as will the high school carolers from noon to 2 p.m.

Both the Reddick Mansion, 100 W. Lafayette St., and the Ottawa Historical and Scouting Museum, 1100 Canal St., are open that day. The mansion's hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While in town, travelers can try to get a little exercise by taking the mural cellphone tour downtown. "A Brush With History" booklet can be picked up at the Ottawa Visitors Center, 100 W. Lafayette St., or visit www.ottawaillinoismurals.com to download the information. Among the murals are Streetscape Reflections, Ottawa's Earliest Residents, and the Peltier Glass Factory.

Interesting Ottawa holds even more things to do and makes a good getaway for those wanting to look at something away from home.

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