GOSHEN — Blocks of ice and ice sculptures were delivered to downtown Goshen this morning in preparation for First Friday's Fire and Ice Festival today.

Goshen Street Department crews hustled the ice to business locations throughout the downtown. The unshaped blocks of ice were still quartered in cardboard boxes until the ice carvers were ready for them.

Beginning at noon and continuing through 8 p.m., multiple sculptors, including several who will be competing in the 2020 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, Feb. 15, will create their masterpieces.

Those competitors include Ralph “Bud” Lies Jr. of La Porte; Greg Beachey of New Paris; Josh Niven of Buchanan, Michigan; Goshen Hospital Chef Samantha Moore of Elkhart; and Lies' son-in-law, John Crumpacker of Medina, Ohio.

Carving will occur mostly along Main and Washington streets, as well as at Venturi, Goshen Brewing Company and Interra Credit Union.

Niven conceptualized the group’s work, to be named “Who’s The Beast?” The carvings have "Beast?" written on them.

“Really, it’s man versus nature,” Niven said in an interview with Goshen News reporter Geoff Lesar recently. “It’s all a play on words on passion — Mother Nature’s passion and the nonstop human passion to take over. Really, who is this beast?”

The Fire and Ice Festival begins at noon today and continues through 8 p.m.

Along with ice carving there will be fire dancers, spicy food specials and marshmallow roasting.

Sheila Selman can be reached at sheila.selman@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 311. Follow Sheila on Twitter @sselman_TGN.

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