Ithaca Lights Festival on Commons DIA

Downtown Ithaca's Ice & Light Festival presented by Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis will feature a host of family-friendly activities including an ice carving competition, interactive lighting displays, the 12th Annual Chowder Cook-Off, Santa's arrival, fire dancers, ice bar, and more. The two-weekend seasonal festival starts Friday, Dec. 2 on the Ithaca Commons. 

Downtown Ithaca’s Ice and Lights Festival presented by Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis is starting this weekend in Downtown Ithaca. This two-weekend seasonal celebration is happening Friday, Dec. 2, Saturday, Dec. 3; Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10 on the Commons.

This year, the family-friendly festival features highly competitive and awe-inspiring ice carving contests, a host of interactive and decorative lighting displays, live performances, high-energy silent discos, functional and ornate ice sculptures, a walkable art show; the 12th Annual Chowder Cook-Off, Santa's Arrival, and more!

Starting this Friday, bring your family and friends to watch some of the region's best professional ice carvers create spectacular ice sculptures as they compete with each other for top prizes. Also, enjoy the latest art exhibits and demonstrations created by local and regional artists as part of Gallery Night. 

Keep yourself toasty during these festivities by sipping hot chocolate from the Infinity Glow Bar on the Commons or enjoying adult beverages from the outdoor Ice Bar (21+ with proper ID). 

The Ice and Lights Festival and Gallery Night are organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA).

"We’re really looking forward to Ice and Lights celebration — two weekends that will be jammed packed with seasonal fun for everyone to enjoy. We encourage everyone to check out the ice carving competition and the holiday lighting spectacular with its eye-catching displays, outdoor dance parties, and the Chowder Cook-Off where tasters can vote for their favorites for the People’s Choice Award. Plus, Santa is going to visit our community. It's truly going to be a grand celebration of the season," says DIA Special Events Director Scott Rougeau. "We thank Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis for its support of this festival, and we can’t wait to see people enjoying this entire experience." 

For more Ice and Lights Festival details, including a complete schedule, visit

Downtown Ithaca Ice and Lights Festival Schedule

Friday, December 2

6:00-9:00 p.m 

Ice Speed Carving Competition on the Bernie Milton Pavilion

Ice Bar - Beer, Wine, Cider, and Hot Cocoa

Ice Sculptures

Saturday, December 3

11:30 a.m-4:30 p.m 12th Annual Chowder Cook-Off with over 30 participating restaurants

11:30 a.m-4:30 p.m Big Block Ice Carving 

Friday, December 9

6-9 p.m Silent Disco with 3 DJs

6-9 p.m Sparky the Unicorn & other Interactive Light Installations

7 p.m Fire Dancers

Saturday, December 10

11 a.m-4 p.m Welcome Santa 

11 a.m-12 p.m Dance and Musical Performances 

12 p.m Santa Arrives 

12:30-4 p.m Santa and Sparky Photo ops 

6-9 p.m Silent Disco with 3 DJs

6-9 p.m Sparky the Unicorn & other Interactive Light Installations

7 p.m Ithaca Sabres Lightsaber demonstration

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