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Niles ice festival goers brave the extreme temperatures on Sunday

NILES, Mich. --- The annual Hunter Ice Festival in Niles took over Main Street on it’s final day on Sunday. 

The festival began on Friday, January 19 as inclement weather moved into the Michiana area. 

Christopher White, who went to the festival with his family, said he tries to go every year to the ice festival. White said he traveled from South Bend to Niles and the roads were not an issue. 

“It hasn’t been too bad,” White said. “I kind of slide around where I live a little bit but it’s been pretty nice today.”

The temperature on Sunday stayed around 14 degrees as people enjoyed the ice sculptures and also the Hunter family’s ice cream. Eugenia Apawu, who worked the ice cream booth, said the ice cream is able to melt people’s heart and cheer their spirit. 

Last year, the weather was 50 degrees warmer. However, this year the temperature drop did have an effect on years-long family traditions of coming to the festival.

“We just know we’re not going to stay out here as long as we probably normally would, because it’s colder,” said Alicia Walker, who went to the festival with her son.

Many people showed up to the last day of the festival. Apawu said it cheered her up to see the support of the community at the ice festival.

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