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Ice sculptor to carve 'Hometown Christmas' in Delton

Luke Froncheck

Staff Writer

A block of ice is coming to Delton next week, and it's not part of the weather forecast.

For the first time in Delton Hometown Christmas history, a professional ice sculptor will craft his artistry in William Smith Park. Phil DeBoer of Jenison will be working from 2 to 5 p.m. during the Saturday, Dec. 14, celebration and will be transporting a giant block of ice to use as his palette.

“He said he was going to start with a chainsaw,” Delton Library Director Cheryl Bower said. “We don’t even know how long he’s going to take; it depends on how cold it is.”

One thing is fairly certain: DeBoer will be in Delton with the frozen cube and, when he gets done, well, it won’t just be a block of ice anymore.

“I’m not sure what he’s going to be sculpting,” Bower said. “It’s a surprise.”

While the ice sculpting is happening outside, a snowball fight will be happening inside. The fight will take place at another new Hometown Christmas destination:  Thornapple Valley Church’s Delton campus where members are planning a gala carnival.

The carnival will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Jen Kalee, one of the Delton Hometown Christmas organizers, said there will be five other indoor entertainment stations for carnival attendees, in addition to the two-minute indoor snowball fight. Kalee said there will not actually be snow inside the church. In its place will be “snowballs” made of tape.

The carnival's other four stations will feature: cookie and ornament decorating, Christmas card-making station, an antler ring toss, and a photo booth. The entire five-station cycle is expected to take between 15 and 20 minutes. The Holly Trolley will be in Delton that day and will transport people from downtown Delton to the church and back.

“It’s going to be an amazing day,” Kalee said.

Kalee also mentioned that the carnival will feature different Christmas characters such as Buddy the Elf, from the movie “Elf,” and the Grinch, who will be roaming around TVC.

Also new this year, the Local Grind will welcome people to decorate a coffee mug from 1 to 4 p.m. Owner Kris Harrington said the mugs will be free.

The annual holiday parade down M-43 will feature some changes: The parade will start at the Faith United Methodist Church and proceed to the Delton Kellogg Middle School. Everyone is welcome to participate in the parade, the only requirement being to report to the church by parade line-up time at 5:30 p.m.

This year, there will be three parade trophies: One for the best decorated fire truck, one for the best decorated float, and one “Judges’ Choice” trophy.

Hometown Christmas is having a fundraising decoration competition between businesses. Each participating Delton business will have a can where patrons can cast “votes” by giving a cash donation. The competition will run through Christmas. Half the proceeds will go to The Shack while the other half will go to the Delton Hometown Christmas fund.

Like last year following the holiday parade, Santa Claus will lead the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Delton Road and M-43. Following that, Santa will be available for pictures. This year, however, pictures with Santa will take place inside Delton Kellogg Elementary in Room 19.

Other than the chances to shop, the only activities that aren’t free at this year’s Hometown Christmas are T-shirt making at True Design and a chili cook-off at the Delton Fire Station. The soup lunch at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, which is free, will accept free-will donations.

The schedule of events includes:

8 a.m.-1 p.m. crafters at the Local Grind

8:30-11 a.m. breakfast with Santa at the Delton Moose Lodge

8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. cookies and punch by Lilywood Farm at Delton Floral

9 a.m.-2 p.m. crafters at the Delton Public Library

9 a.m.-2 p.m. bird feeder crafts by the Bernard Historical Museum at the Delton library

9 a.m.-2 p.m. play to win and shop Gilmore run, sponsored by the Gilmore Car Museum, at the Delton library

10 a.m.-the Reindeer Dash/Santa Stroll 5k registration begins at the soccer field

10 a.m.-noon Christmas truck ornament making at Ken’s Sports Shop

10 a.m.-noon Christmas cookie decorating at the Thornapple Credit Union

10 a.m.-1 p.m. ornament crafting run by the Delton Community Church at Chapple Realty

11 a.m.-4 p.m. craft show in the Delton Kellogg Elementary school gymnasium

11 a.m. Reindeer Dash/Santa Stroll begins at the soccer field. After the race, runners are welcome to warm up at Tujax.

11 a.m.-6 p.m. karaoke, shopping, and refreshments at Katie and Christy’s Mid-Lakes

Noon-2 p.m. soup lunch at St. Ambrose Catholic Church

1- 3 p.m. carnival at Thornapple Valley Church, Delton

1-4 p.m. decorate a coffee mug at the Local Grind

2-4 p.m. T-shirt making at True Design; $8 for adults, $6 for children

2-4 p.m. spin to win and face painting at MEI

2-5 p.m. ice sculptor and roasted chestnuts at William Smith Park

3-5 p.m. chili cook-off run by Delton Rotary Club at the fire station; $10 to compete and $3 to taste the chili

3-5 p.m. family games at the Faith United Methodist Church

5-8 p.m. campfire with drink specials at Grove Street Café

5:30 p.m. holiday parade lineup at the Faith United Methodist Church

6 p.m. holiday parade with Santa from the Methodist church to the Delton Middle School

6:30 p.m. tree lighting at the corner of M-43 and Delton Road

6:30-7 p.m. photos with Santa at Delton Kellogg Elementary School Room 19


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