BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Winter weather is on the way for Western New York this weekend, and that will be a welcome sight at Larkin Square as the neighborhood holds its 3rd annual Larkinville Ice Festival Saturday.
"It's a neighborhood-wide celebration of winter," explained Leslie Zemsky, Director of Fun for Larkin Square.
Zemsky said she was hoping for at least a few inches of snow to make a sledding hill possible, but she said, whatever the weather, there will be plenty of activities for everyone, from life-sized lawn games to live entertainment to local vendors on the heated boardwalk, not to mention the wide variety of food and fun available around the area. For those who are hoping to get a little active, there will be a Snow Roll ride, snow-ga (the Ice Festival version of yoga) and even a hockey shootout area. And, that's just the tip of the ice burg. "It's hard for me to remember all the things," Zemsky laughed.
Saturday's event is free and open to the public and offers attractions for people of all ages -- from kids' crafts to craft beverages for adults.
For those who enjoy the adult drinks, there will also be tours and tastings at both Flying Bison Brewing Company and Buffalo Distilling Company, which just moved into the neighborhood in the last year or so.
"The building is beautiful. It's from 1890. The old Dutchman and Sons carriage factory," said Buffalo Distilling Company president Andy Wegrzyn about his company's new home. "It's one of the classic Buffalo buildings that's still up and they've preserved it and the folks here in Larkin have really brought it back."
Wegrzyn had high praise for the entire neighborhood where he chose to build up his company. "The pulse down here is great. It's hip and it's up and coming," he said.
Other new neighbors in the Larkin area say they're feeling that vibe, too.
"It's a great neighborhood to come into. They've been really warm in welcoming us to the neighborhood," said Emilee Philips, whose group, the Bird's Nest Circus Arts, is opening a new studio in an old warehouse on Fillmore in a couple months.
"It's a lot of things up and coming around here, I think. It's a lot of time and hard work invested in making this a draw for people," she said.
As the Bird's Nest works to draw in people to take a wide variety of classes in their new studio space, they're looking forward to spreading the word to community members at the Ice Festival this weekend.
Many of the local companies taking part say they're excited to meet their customers.
"They'll come rolling up down here to Larkvinville to see and do a lot of fun things and we're hoping the Flying Bison Brewing Company visit is one of those fun things," said Flying Bison founder Tim Herzog.
The hours of activities vary at each of the locations participating in the Ice Festival, but you can click here to see the full schedule for all of the programming.
Click on the videos below to see News 4's first look at this weekend's event during Wake Up Thursday morning.