There was a silver lining for fewer tourists showing up for Kennebunkport 40e Annual Christmas prelude, celebrated with events from December 2-12. More locals were able to win tickets to the very popular Fire & Ice Vacation Fundraiser at Nonantum Resort, some after a decade or more of trying.
“I waited 12 years to enter,” said Chris pekar by Baudouin.
“In” was a bit abusive. During the two-day event, held on December 10 and 11, only one bar and the restrooms were inside. While the bonfire, fire pits and ice sculptures are still outside, this year all the food, most drinks and even the seven-person Carmine Terracino Band and dance “floor” have been. installed in tents.
“We embrace Mother Nature,” said the marketing coordinator Hannah lamprey. “And the decision we made two months ago was that this would be a sure way to build on a tradition from previous years.”
About half of the number of tickets were sold as in previous years, and each night was split into two time slots: Twilight and Moonlight. With no more than 600 people at Fire & Ice at any given time, social distancing wasn’t difficult. Upon arrival, guests presented proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test and were offered a Fire & Ice gaiter.
Outside, where most of the event took place, guests admired the work of ice sculptor Jeff Day, who turned 18,000 pounds of ice into sparkling works of art. Day even carved an anchor and chains from an otherwise empty pool, every link chiseled in ice.
Guests ranged in what they considered the highlight of the evening, from the ice sculptures, the bonfire, comfort food and drink, and dancing with the live band. But all agreed that the night as a whole was rather happy.
“I would definitely come back,” said Richard Pandiscio from Wells.
Each night benefited a different local nonprofit, with Friday’s proceeds going to Kennebunk Heritage Housing Trust and Saturday’s proceeds to Kennebunk Land Trust.
“It’s great for the city and great for Nonantum,” said Rick roberts by Kennebunk.
Member of the Board of Directors of the Kennebunk Heritage Housing Trust David Kling said, “The need for donations and grants is ongoing as we subsidize the cost of housing in Kennebunk. “
The trust completed its first project, Heritage Woods, which has six houses. The city provided the land and the trust covered the cost of infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, to increase the number of affordable housing available in Kennebunk.
“Our goal is to provide 25 homes by 2025 that remain affordable at all times,” said Kling.
Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer from Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected]
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