Page 6 - ice2019
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Plymouth Ice Festival
       Page 4

       Going big

       Michigan First brings huge sculpture to festival

         It's a big deal.
         Actually, it's the biggest deal at the Plymouth Ice Festival
       this year, using 20 blocks of ice and measuring about 33 by 22
       feet, the huge ice sculpture is being sponsored by Michigan
       First Credit Union.
         “This will be the largest sculpture we have had in five or
       six years,” noted James Geitzen president of JAG
       Entertainment which produces the festival each year.
       Gietzen said he is excited about the size of the sculpture, but
       also about the participation of Michigan First, which is the
       official credit union of the Detroit Red Wings.
         “Obviously, they will have a Red Wings theme to the carv-
       ing,” Geitzen said, but they are keeping it under wraps for
         Tijuana Wakar of Ice Dreams in Plymouth and a team of
       three will be carving the sculpture, and she also declined to
       discuss the design.
         “We are still working on it,” she said. Wakar, who with
       husband Ted, also a champion carver, has been involved in
       the Plymouth festival for more than 20 years.
         According to Dan Sugg, the Chief Mortgage Lending
       Officer at Michigan First, the theme of the sculpture will in
       fact be something including the Detroit Red Wings and the
       people at Michigan First are as excited about the sculpture
       as Geitzen.
         “Not only our staff, but our members can take pride in  Tijuana Wakar of Ice Dreams will be leading a team of three
       presenting this at the Ice Festival,” Sugg said. Michigan  carvers working on the 20-block Michigan First ice carving
       First has two offices in Canton Township and recently  at the festival this year.
       opened the mortgage lending office in Plymouth, off Kellogg  businesses and in Kellogg Park on Thursday and Friday, she
       Park.                                                said.
         “I'm a Plymouth native, so I am really excited about it,”  Viewing the huge Michigan First sculpture will not be
       Sugg said.  “We have 400 employees, eight in Plymouth, and  limited to a static experience. Visitors can take a photo with
       150,000 members across the state, many in western Wayne,”  the creation, post it to #mifirsticefest to enter a drawing to
       he said, noting that many employees and members regularly  win a number of prizes.
       attend the Plymouth event.                             “It's a unique opportunity,” Sugg said.
         Wakar said sculptures of this size present some unique  Michigan First is also the sponsor of the petting farm and
       challenges but that she has years of experience with the  pony rides provided by Carousel Acres during the festival
       larger designs.  “It is difficult, there is lots of ice and lots of  this year.
       height,” she said. She and her team will start on the  Again, visiting the petting farm and pony rides will have
       Michigan First sculpture on Tuesday to ensure that they fin-  an additional attraction this year, Sugg said, as the credit
       ish by Thursday or Friday, she noted.                union will have “elves” walking through the festival distrib-
         In addition to the large sculpture, Ice Dreams will be  uting “dry snow” to visitors.
       carving about 50 other sculptures of various sizes for display  The “dry snow” is actually cotton candy, Sugg explained,
       at the festival.                                     and is just another way for the credit union to be involved
         “We have been working on them for some time now,”  with the community event.
       Wakar said, and we have several already stored in the freez-  “We want to demonstrate our commitment to the commu-
       er.” They will be delivered and mounted in front of local  nity,” Sugg said. “We think this is a great way to do it.”
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