The fifth annual Rockford Ice Festival is this weekend, Feb. 7-8.

The theme for this year’s event is “Putting on the Glitz."

The event kicks off Friday evening, with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. that include a scavenger hunt throughout the weekend. The grand prize for the hunt (a.k.a. The Glitz) will be a prize valued at more than $1,000!

I'll be the emcee for the event, along with Mitch Lyons, a former NFL star and Rockford resident.

To make this a fun family event, downtown Rockford will transform into Whoville for the evening. There will also be free horse-drawn carriage rides until 8:30 p.m. and demonstration ice carvings. The events Friday will take place at the Rockford Dam. Reds on the River will feature a Whoville-inspired dinner (roast beast, anyone?) following the ceremony; and reservations are recommended.

Saturday afternoon will be packed with ice carvings throughout town, a chili cook-off, miniature ice golfing, and the sweetheart splash. Local businesses will also be offering hot spot promotions throughout the day. Scavenger hunt participants have until 4 p.m. Saturday to complete their forms and turn those in at Reds on the River.

The third annual Snow Ball Dinner Dance at Thousand Oaks Country Club begins at 6 p.m. The winner of the scavenger hunt drawing will be announced during the Snow Ball. For ticket information on the Snow Ball, visit Rockford Area Arts Commission's website at