SnowBlast Winter Festival, promoted as the coolest celebration in the Lehigh Valley, will kick off the first weekend in February in Emmaus.
This will be the seventh year for the two-day winter arts festival and the fifth year that its primary organizer is the Emmaus Arts Commission.
The coming of SnowBlast was announced at Monday night’s Emmaus borough council meeting.
“It’s going to be a great event,” predicted council member Michael Waddell.
SnowBlast hours are 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.
Council unanimously approved using Triangle Park in the center of town for SnowBlast on Feb. 1.
Approval was not unanimous on a related motion, for Emmaus Main Street Partners to sell alcohol in Triangle Park that night, as it has done for the last several years at its popular Ice Bar during SnowBlast.
Council member Brian Holtzhafer cast the sole no vote, later explaining he doesn’t like the sale of alcohol in borough parks.
SnowBlast’s opening ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 1 on the Triangle. Sculpted ice demonstrations will be on the Triangle that night, as well as food vendors, martial arts demonstrations, games and an appearance by the SnowBlast Ice Princess.
A third annual SnowBlast Art Show and Sale will be both days in the Clock Building, 328 Main St., where music will be performed and artists will demonstrate their skills.
Music, art demonstrations and other activities will be offered in several downtown shops, which will stay open that Friday night.
A Saturday highlight will be a second annual Community Art Project. Community members will be encouraged to turn the word “SnowBlast” into graffiti-style art using paint-pens on small squares of poster board. Those pieces will be put together to look like a snowflake, which will be on display through February at Lee Gribben’s on Main, 194 Main St.
A full schedule of SnowBlast activities is at www.emmausarts.org.
Also during its meeting, council approved the appointment of two new firefighters for the Emmaus Fire Department, which has more than 40 volunteers. They are Michael Arndt and Cody Sabaski. Paul Shankweiler was appointed a driver/operator of the department’s trucks 711 and 712.
Council also appointed Linda Rose to the Emmaus Library Board, Don Nickerson as an alternate to the Emmaus Zoning Hearing Board and Jeff McElhaney, Jr., to the Emmaus Parks and Recreation Commission. Council members said McElhaney does not live in Emmaus but has a business in Emmaus. Council recently changed the rules so non-residents can serve on borough commissions.
Resident Jack Nonnemacher began council’s meeting by questioning why the improved baseball field at Emmaus Community Park has a grass infield for 80-foot bases rather 90-foot bases, “which is a regulation baseball field.”
“There’s going to be an 80-foot base path and a 90-foot base path,” explained borough manager Shane Pepe. “The difference is 10 feet of sod."
“The bottom line is the pitching mound is sixty feet six inches. They’ve still got to be able to hit the curve ball. Whether they’re playing at 80 feet or 90 feet, they’re still going to play the game of baseball.”
“We want that field to be as versatile as possible,” said council member Brent Labenberg. Council members said the Emmaus Youth Association paid for improvements at the field through about $55,000 in cash and donations.
“If, at the end of this year, we say ‘boy, that was really a dumb mistake’ we can add 10 feet of sod,” said Holtzhafer. “If it’s wrong, we’ll fix it.”