A New Year's Eve 'Blast' in Waynesboro
WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Fresh from his appearance on Food Network’s “Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror,” ice and pumpkin carver Danny Kissel will bring his chainsaw and a big block of ice to downtown Waynesboro on New Year’s Eve.
Kissel, of Newville, Pa., will make his second appearance at the newly opened Main Street Park. This time he’ll be there for the Boro Blast, a new event sponsored by Mainstreet Waynesboro and F&M Trust.
Earlier this month, Kissel appeared at a borough event, carving a reindeer. On Sunday, though, he will carve a 2018 into an ice block.
“It’s pretty much a standard for a New Year’s Eve party,” Kissel said.
Kissel said he’s always been an artist, but added more extravagant carving into his repertoire in recent years.
“I’ve sculpted in high school as part of your required classes, that’s the only time I’ve ever sculpted, other than Play Doh as a kid and messing with clay here and there,” he said.
He was first inspired to try pumpkin carving while watching television.
“There was a show on TV called ‘Outrageous Pumpkins’ on the Food Network. I saw people doing that ... because nobody really thinks about that. I was blown away with what they could do. And the next year I bought four or five pumpkins and started practicing. And I found out clay resembled pumpkin very closely, as far as the feel of it, and the texture of it, it felt similar. A lot of the tools we use are clay tools, they translated nice to pumpkin,” Kissel recalled.
The first item he started taking his chainsaw to were pumpkins.
“And chainsaw woodcarving came from doing that little bit of sculpture and really enjoying myself,” he said.
Kissel has appeared on Food Network twice, and said he would like to be asked back for another competition. But closer to home, he’ll spend the entire Boro Blast carving ice to welcome the new year.
While he works, Kissel said he’ll welcome interaction from onlookers.
“People are a little bit shy when you have a chainsaw in your hands, they might not come up and talk to me then. I tend to try to get kids involved especially when we did the first one (in Waynesboro) a couple weeks ago. It was 50 degrees outside, we hadn’t seen any snow yet, so I was making snowballs. A lot of the burbits I use are carbide bits with a lot of teeth on them, really dangerous if you get close to them, but I was catching snow with my left hand while running with my right hand and I was making snowballs and throwing them to kids in the crowd,” he said.
In addition to Kissel’s ice sculpting, Boro Blast will feature bounce houses, s’mores kits for sale, candy, popcorn, hot chocolate, giveaways, face painting and music.
“I really wanted to make it a family thing. That’s one of my goals, to have more family events downtown, because there just weren’t that many,” Bill Kohler, director of economic development for Mainstreet Waynesboro, said.
“I wanted to put some events out there for people who were within walking distance to literally put the kids in the stroller, bundle up and go downtown, you know. Our park is a beautiful and welcoming place for people to come downtown and hang out,” he said.
Boro Blast runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and will conclude with a countdown and more than 1,000 balloons being dropped into a 45-foot net.
Onstreet parking will be available, and the alley from Church Street to Broad Street will be closed, so people can park in the Trinity Church lot and the M&T Bank lot.
“People can easily walk down to the park,” Kohler said.
Kohler said he is optimistic that the event will be a success, and will become a staple in Waynesboro on New Year’s Eve.
“We’re excited,” he said. “It’ll be a nice social event for people to come out and listen to some music and try to win some prizes and maybe see some people they haven’t seen in awhile.
If you go ...
WHAT: Boro Blast
WHEN: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31
WHERE: Main Street Park, 25 E. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa.
COST: Admission and most activities are free
CONTACT: For more information, call 717-762-0397.
MORE: Parking will be available on the street, in the Trinity Church lot and the M&T Bank lot