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People from all over Long Island visited Port Jefferson this past weekend to shop, eat, drink and admire sculptures set in ice during the fourth annual Ice Fest, hosted by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District.
On Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at three different spots throughout town to watch Rich Daly, owner of Mastic Beach-based Ice Memories, Inc., and a Guinness Book of World Records honoree, perform his world-renowned talent for the fourth year in a row.
Scroll down for photos.
Since 2019, Daly has visited the village to perform creating his ice art creations using a chainsaw and giant block of ice. Along with his live performances each day, he set up other sculptures he created, commissioned by business owners around town.
“I love Port Jeff,” he said. “I love that every year they try to make things bigger and better … The crowds are amazing and it’s not just ice. There are so many other things to do.”
Daly is one of only eight certified master carvers in the United States. He has more than 200 ice carving competition titles and won the Guinness World Record for carving 60 ice sculptures in under three hours. In 2013, Rich set this record and shattered the previous record by over 90 minutes.
Over the two days, nearly 30 sculptures were put out around town. From Tommy’s Place Restaurant and Bar and their large ice beer mug, to a cute iced puppy on East Main Street outside SkinMed Spa, there was something on display for everyone.
“We asked him to create a dog because we actually just got a puppy for Christmas and we thought it would be fun to honor her here,” Lauren Brown, owner of SkinMed Spa said.
On both Main and East Main, two sets of ice corn hole were set out so families could play, while a large ice castle behind PJ Lobster House hosted photo opportunities by three famous Disney princesses.
The BID also hosted the village’s annual Mac & Cheese Crawl, where ticket holders could sample different cheesy dishes from more than a dozen local restaurants Down Port.
President of the BID Roger Rutherford said that day one of the festival was “fantastic.”
“We’re looking to make it even bigger and better next year,” he said.
This weekend, another new business used the festivities to showcase their new storefront.
The Bar Method, located in the back of the Harbor Square Mall, is a new boutique fitness studio that focuses on barre work, stretching and low impact workouts. After announcing their plans to completely gut and revamp the space next to PJ Lobster House back in March – which was mostly vacant for years – it has finally opened and they are excited to be a part of the village.
The Bar Method’s owner Theresa Livingston and members of her team set up a table with free cookies and a raffle for a free membership outside their new space, while curious locals came up to inquire about the new shop that’s officially Down Port.
“This was perfect timing to open our doors during this weekend,” she said. “We’re so happy to finally be a part of the community.”
Check out pictures from the 2023 Port Jefferson Ice Festival. Click the boxes below to see them all. (Credit: Julianne Mosher)