Annual Grafton Ice Bar event sells out for the second year in a row

The Grafton Ice Bar. Photo by Paula Benson.

GRAFTON, Vt. – On Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6 and 7, the normally sleepy town of Grafton, Vt. welcomed the return of the annual party known as the Grafton Ice Bar. Sponsored by the Grafton Inn, Jamie Gregory Trucking and Excavating, and others, the event featured bars and sculptures carved from ice, a selection of craft beers, cocktails made with local Vermont spirits, hot apple cider, and bonfires aplenty.

The skies remained clear and the weather seemed perfect for the evening with temps cold enough to feel chilly if a fire pit wasn’t close, but warm enough that the ice bars, cocktail tables, and benches were melting just a bit. The ice sculptures shimmered under the blue and white string lights hanging throughout the outdoor space. Attendees in winter gear crunched across the packed snow mingling and chatting in small groups, while a DJ from Peak Entertainment played a rowdy mix of pop music from the 80s through today. Sometimes a song would inspire a few folks to bop their heads or do some hip shaking.

There was a long line at Tito’s Taqueria most of the evening, the popular food truck serving tacos and burritos to the patient crowd. A huge bonfire raged just above the main event area at the bottom of the hill behind the Grafton Inn and Main Street. Volunteers from the Windham Foundation carried six foot logs to stack in tee-pee style on the blaze. Bales of hay circled the bonfire where dozens of people sat visiting with friends or meeting new ones, sipping cocktails, and soaking up the warmth of the flames.

Many of the people there were guests of the Grafton Inn, and had come from nearby states, or other towns in Vermont, but more than a handful of locals were also in attendance, enjoying one of the annual social events that make the town of Grafton such a unique community.

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