Lakes Region rings in the new year

Special to the Union Leader |
January 01. 2014 7:54PM

Joslyn Samo, 4, of Rhode Island, loves the color purple so she ordered up a purple butterfly pattern for her face at Wolfeboro First Night 2014 activities at Estabrook Hall on the Brewster Academy campus. (Larissa Mulkern)

WOLFEBORO — Bundled up in winter jackets, boots and hats, revelers braved the cold to enjoy First Night Wolfeboro 2014 on Tuesday.

Most of the events took place indoors at eight different venues throughout town, but one attraction that required a chill in the air was Brian Stockman's live ice sculpting demonstration at the Community Bandstand in Cate Park.

Stockman began chiseling a huge block of ice at noon on Tuesday and by mid-afternoon had sculpted a stallion rearing on its hind legs. The sculptor usually works with wood, but carves ice a couple times of year for different events.

Stockman said he began with a 300-pound block of ice. Then he sketched out the shape of the horse on cardboard to use as a guide.

How does he stay warm? "I keep moving … my toes are starting to get a little numb, but I dress for it. If it was any warmer, this (sculpture) would be soaking wet," he said.

"Thank you for braving the temperatures," said one bystander as Stockman steadily worked on the horse. "We look forward to this every year."

Elsewhere in town, First Night 2014 Chair Cecile Chase, her committee, and Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary DeVries and staff put many family-friendly activities on the program that included live musical performances, a magic show, crafts, face-painting and mask-making for kids, indoor and outdoor ice skating venues, and a fireworks show at 8:15 p.m.

Inside Estabrook Hall on the Brewster Academy campus, children enjoyed making masks, hats and having their faces painted.

Donna Sieczkiewicz of Rhode Island brought her granddaughter, Joslyn Samo, 4, and two grandsons to First Night.

"It's just wonderful," she said of the variety of art supplies organizers provide for the kids. "Purple is her favorite color," she said as she watched painter Amanda Hall create a butterfly on Joslyn's face. Next on the list for the family was ice skating at the Pop Whalen Arena.At another craft table, grandparents Stuart and Cindy Chase watched granddaughter Makena Chase, 4, create a pink mask with features and peace signs.

Other families filled the Pinckney Boathouse to capacity for several popular Wildlife Encounter presentations with host Derek Small.
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