Winter is coming, just in time for Downtown Ithaca’s Ice Fest!

Sunny and 40s was nice while it lasted, but it just wouldn’t do for this weekend’s Downtown Ithaca Ice Fest! Fear not, wintry weather is settling in for the next several days.

It’ll be cool enough to keep the Ice Bar from melting on the Ithaca Commons! 14850 file photo.

The National Weather Service says “a strong cold front will bring rain into the evening” on Tuesday, and “A much colder pattern sets up behind this system for Wednesday through next weekend with scattered snow showers and flurries around.”

After a couple of weeks of unseasonably warm weather, “temperatures will be several degrees below the seasonal average Friday through Sunday,” say NWS forecasters.

FLX Weather’s Drew Montreuil agrees, saying today’s rainy, windy weather will usher in an “extended cold spell,” which might bring some flurries and squalls into the Finger Lakes. Temperatures should be in the mid 30s for the next few days, with overnights dipping into the 20s.

The Downtown Ithaca Ice Fest and Chowder Cook-Off kicks off Thursday night with the Ice Bar open from 5-9pm serving up local beer and wine as well as non-alcoholic cocoa, and people can dance to a Silent Disco featuring DJ Ha-MEEN! If you haven’t been to one of those, everyone gets wireless headphones and can dance to the music without random passersby having to hear it.

Friday features speed ice-carving and the Ice Bar is open again from 5-9pm, then the main event is Saturday, with more ice carving the Chowder Cook-Off featuring “over 20 different traditional, exotic, and gourmet chowders from local restaurants competing,” and the Ice Bar will be open all afternoon.

After a few days in the 30s, “temperatures are then expected to remain near or below freezing through at least next weekend,” says Drew of FLX Weather.

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