The Richmond Meltdown Festival, presented by 3 Rivers, is entering its tenth year in 2023, and continues to draw in crowds from all over the State. But what exactly can you expect to find at the Meltdown Festival? Read on to learn more.

History of the Meltdown

Since 2014, talented ice carvers have made the journey to Richmond from all over the country each January. Many of these carvers got their start in the culinary world before becoming professional and award winning ice carvers!

Each year the carvers spend the week of the Meltdown creating sculptures that are displayed around Jack Elstro Plaza. Then, on the night of the Meltdown Throwdown, the carvers go head to head as they compete to create a crowd favorite sculpture.

Over the ten years of the Meltdown’s run, the ice carvers have created fan-favorite sculptures based on super heroes, animals, and nearly anything else you can imagine!

“There are many who try to duplicate what we do, but there really is no comparison to the original Richmond Meltdown Winter Ice Festival!”, said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “Seeing this beautiful city come alive in the cold with music, food, events, and ice is a unique and memorable experience. It’s one more thing that makes calling Richmond home very special.”

2023 Meltdown Activities

It’s not just the ice sculptures that set the Meltdown apart. In the week leading up to the Throwdown, festivalgoers can enjoy events around Richmond, like a chili charity event, ice cream eating contest, and more!

Families can visit Jack Elstro plaza on Friday, January 27th for the Family Play Zone. Here, the ice carvers will create interactive ice sculptures that families can get up close and personal with. In the past, carvers have created everything from bicycles to cornhole boards!

Then, on the evening of Saturday, January 28th, the Meltdown Throwdown commences! Watch as the carvers go head to head to create amazing ice sculptures in front of a live audience. You even get to vote for the winner!

If you’re lucky, you might even get to see Melty the Moose – the official mascot of the Meltdown festival!

Those interested in attending the Richmond Meltdown can find a full list of events on the Meltdown’s website, along with other helpful information.

Melty and the Foundation staff in 2022!

Forward Wayne County, through the Wayne County Foundation, is very proud to be a supporter of the Richmond Meltdown. We hope to see you there – stay warm!

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