Publisher Ron Vodenichar announced today the new partnership between the Eagle Printing Co., publishers of the Butler Eagle, Cranberry Eagle and Pittsburgh City Paper, and Cranberry Township to expand the township’s annual Santa’s First Stop celebration to include the Eagle North Pole Ice Festival.
This year, the Santa’s First Stop activities will be moved to Cranberry Community Park, behind the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department station on Route 19.
“Along with the Santa’s First Stop traditions of tree lighting and children’s activities, the Eagle North Pole Ice Festival will bring an array of new attractions, including beautiful giant ice carvings done on site by the DiMartino Ice Company,” Vodenichar said. “There will be a giant ice slide, an ice carriage and sculptures that celebrate the various holiday seasons and traditions of the community and its residents.”
Santa’s First Stop is sponsored by Karski Dental Associates, which will maintain its generous position as a key promoter of the event.
The Eagle North Pole Ice Festival will begin Nov. 21 with the delivery of giant ice blocks, which will be carved to become pieces of art, such as flowers, birds, animals, tractors, trucks, boats, beer mugs, military insignia and castles. It will continue with actual carvings being done and displayed all day Friday, with the lighting of the official township tree Friday night. Additional activities and viewing of the sculptures will take place Saturday.
“If you can imagine it, the ice sculptors can create it,” Vodenichar said of the sculptures. “We plan to have five or six giant sculptures and maybe two dozen more of various sizes. The business community and organizations will all be offered the opportunity to have an ice sculpture, which depicts or honors their business.”
The idea was adapted from observing the highly successful Ice Festival hosted each winter in Butler by the AM Rotary Club of Butler.
“Hosting one in Cranberry was an easy idea to grasp as the Cranberry Eagle is the primary source of local news for the community and a loyal supporter of the annual drives conducted for improvements in the community,” Vodenichar said.
Proceeds from the event will be given to the Cranberry Township Community Chest Project of the Year, according to Tammy Schuey, Eagle assistant general manager who is leading the Eagle’s team in producing the event.
Additional activities include singing performances, crafting, horse-drawn carriage rides and food trucks.
“We will have plenty for everyone to do, but it will be hard to top the giant ice slide for children of all ages,” Schuey added.
Bruce Mazzoni, a township supervisor and member of the CTCC board, said the event is a great idea that aims to bring the community together.
“Our Santa’s First Stop brings in hundreds of people, and this adds so much more,” he said. “I think it will become a family tradition.”
Groups and businesses wanting to participate should contact Michele Jurysta at the Cranberry Eagle office at 724-776-4270.