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For the first time in over 88 years Houdini has escaped his world-famous milk can!

And the escape was made more difficult this year than ever before- he had to not only from the milk can, but also from a block of ice!

Chainsaws showered the surrounding area with ice chips as Harry emerged from the block of ice, and more delicate carving instruments were used to create the details that make this sculpture truly resemble the great magician. Many thanks to talented artist John Merucci of Icescapes who created the frozen masterpieces displayed up and down the main street of Marshall.

The “Houdini” can fittingly be viewed outside of the American Museum of Magic. This sculpture was donated by the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau in the hopes that the promise of a Houdini escape would attract a large crowd - and it worked! People held their breath in anticipation as Houdini struggled with his chains inside the block of ice... a sigh of relief was heard as he finally emerged from his frozen can of milk - and finally, a giggle or two as the artist put his finishing touch on the can... "Got Milk?"

Other ice sculptures can be found dotting the entire downtown area. It is fun to stroll the shopping district and see the fun shapes and images that were created during Marshall’s Ice, Wine and Blues Festival that was held the weekend of February 7-8, 2014.

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My favorites are the bag of money and the snowboarder - good choices since the Olympics started this week. I really enjoy the pieces that creatively combine the sculpture with the business the carving is in front of. The bag of money is in front of a bank, and a giant ice ring is in front of a jewelery store.  And, of course, in front of The Stagecoach is... a stagecoach!

Then there are the ones that I can’t quite figure out. Is that an Indian riding on a cannon, on waves? And I’m not sure what a bunny has to do with art, but it is a stunning rabbit and I am sure a lot of kids have gotten their picture taken standing beside it. Maybe the sculptures we can’t figure out were put there so we would go into the business and ask what they are... clever marketing!!

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This event was a fun one and many people showed up to enjoy the wine tastings available at 15 different downtown locations, and to listen to the live blues music that could be heard both in the shops and piped outside via the street sound system. And the best part is that these sculptures can be enjoyed for quite a while after the actual event. For His Next Act, He Will Disappear! Hurry to see these sculptures because as soon as the weather turns warm Houdini and the rest of the ice sculptures will melt away. So make plans today to visit downtown Marshall to enjoy these works of art before “Poof!” they all disappear!