One of the many things I look forward to every year in January (besides snow – really! – ) is the annual Ice On Fire winter festival at North Branch Nature Gallery in Montpelier. The event features an opening costume parade followed by an entire afternoon of songs, stories about winter, musical performances, and fire. Lots of fire. There are candles glowing in large icy candleholders made by using a 5-gallon bucket as a mold. There are torches in the ring around the central space, and there is an enormous bonfire at the very end of the event.
When I return to reality the next day, sitting at my desk at work, I can still smell the sweet fragrance of woodsmoke. I don’t know where it lingers but it’s always there the next day as a reminder. Nice.
Here are some of the photos I took at this year’s event, last Sunday. If you’re in the area in late January in the future – I hope you’ll come and join us at the Ice On Fire festival. Most of all it’s about community, coming together in the cold days marking the time just past the winter solstice and just before the halfway point of Imbolc. It’s about friends, and the warmth we find in each other’s company at this time of the year.