Next Friday and Saturday, February 1st and 2nd, the Ice, Wine, Beer and Blues Festival returns to Marshall

As in past years, international ice carver extraordinaire, John Merucci and his talented team, will be creating ice sculptures in Downtown Marshall. This year the ice carvings will be movie themes. You might find a House with a Clock in its Walls , Mary Poppins or Darth Vader.      There will also be a couple interactive sculptures where you will be able to take your photo.

Wine/beer goblets from East End Gallery artists, Romelle Frey and Schyler Binkley will go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 30 through Feb 1st at Trailblazers, East End Gallery and OERTHER’S in Marshall.  They will also be available the evening of the event at all ten tasting locations.  Romelle Frey is an artist from the Jackson area. She is a pottery instructor at the Ella Sharpe Museum and has ceramic work on display at East End all year round.   Her goblets have been sold as part of the event for the last several years and will sell again for $10. This year, a new potter’s goblets will also be available for sale.  Schyler Binkley (bark pottery goblets for $20) is the former owner of Daybreak Gallery & Studio in Manistee, Michigan. He currently resides in Traverse City, where he creates his pottery. Schyler is a graduate of Western Michigan University.

On Friday, February 1st goblets and event wristbands will go on sale at 5:00 pm at all of the ten tasting locations. This year’s locations are as follows:  Hodges Jewelers, Pure Eden Salon, Paper & I, East End Gallery, Living MI, Quality Engraving, Mole Hole, Handle & Hinge, Green Scene and Serendipity.   The wine and beer tasting will be from 6-10 p.m., with three locations serving beer and seven locations pouring wine. Complimentary heavy snacks will be available at tasting locations too.  Several downtown businesses will be open serving non-alcoholic beverages Friday evening as well.   Merucci’s live ice carving will begin at 4 p.m. in downtown Marshall and continue until 9 pm.

This year, several downtown restaurants are teaming up with the tasting locations to feature some of their own food offerings.  By adding this element, the event is able to showcase more of what Downtown Marshall has to offer….great restuaurants too!  Event planners are still working on coordinating this effort but look for food from Pastrami Joes, Schulers, and Firekeepers to name a few.

The fun continues on Saturday, Feb. 2nd.  The live ice carving will resume at 9:30 a.m. and continue until completion.   Several Downtown merchants will also be participating in providing Morning After Meatballs and shopping specials from 11:00-3:00 p.m.

he Franke Center for the Arts will host their annual Winter Blues Festival Saturday evening starting at 5 p.m. with Jimmie Stagger in the Downstage Club with beer/wine and BBQ dinner available for purchase. At 7 p.m., Seventh Son Blues Band will be opening for headliner Root Doctor on the main stage.  Blues concert