New winter festival launches in downtown Portland

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PORTLAND — Residents and visitors alike are invited to participate in activities, demonstrations, music events and movie screenings during a new winter festival, Portland On Ice.

The festival, created by Portland’s Downtown District, kicks off with the Portland Harbor Hotel Ice Bar on Friday, Jan. 27, and continues through Saturday, Feb. 4.

In addition to returning events like the ice bar and the Sunday River Downtown Showdown Rail Jam in Monument Square, there will be new activities including concerts with local bands, musical events for children, ice sculpting by Jeff Day of Ice Designs, ice fishing demonstrations, and prizes and raffle opportunities.

“It’s great because there is something new every day,” Will Ethridge, PDD’s events and marketing manager, said.

On Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. at the Children’s Museum, Ethridge said there will be an instrument petting zoo, where children can play various instruments provided by the Portland Music Foundation.

From Tuesday, Jan. 31, through Thursday, Feb. 2, teams can participate in a Downtown Photo Scavenger Hunt. Each day, teams will compete to collect points by posting pictures on Facebook of downtown landmarks, shops, sights, and activities. A winning team will be selected each day and will be awarded a $100 gift certificate from a downtown business of their choice.

Ethridge said the Portland Downtown District is expecting Portland On Ice to become an annual event.

“Even though this is our first year,” he said, “our goal is to make it a tradition and help make Portland more of a destination during the winter.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-36661 ext. 110 or Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.