FESTIVAL ON ICE: Fire & Ice to return in 2014

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s Fire and Ice Festival has been cancelled, but only for this year. The winter event, sponsored by the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, was to be held in January on the Courthouse Square.Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doug Brown said the cancellation was due to scheduling conflicts, not financial reasons.Chamber leaders and event organizers considered an alternative date, but was not successful in rescheduling the festival. However, Brown said there is already discussion for the festival’s return in 2014.For this year, some of the events traditionally linked to the Fire and Ice Festival will be planned in conjunction with the chamber’s expo, set for March 16.The Center for Whitley County Youth’s Chili Cook-off and what has been known in the past as the Snowflake 5K are currently being planned as part of the expo.Brown said bringing the winter event back is important because of the community spirit the festival evokes and the impact it has on Columbia City.