PHOTOS: Live ice carving event promotes solidarity between Oxford and Lake Orion

Lake Orion and Oxford's Downtown Development Authorities are hosting an ice carving festival to kick off a series of collaborative events. #StrongerTogether Ice Fest is the first in a year-long promotional series, displaying ice carvings from Clinton Rich of Cold Cut Ice in both downtown areas throughout February.

Metromode photographer Joe Powers was at the launch to capture the detail that goes into a carving (click through the gallery above) and the sights of the streets.

Every Thursday this month, Lake Orion and Oxford are hosting live ice carvings, with visitors able to travel back and forth between the two downtowns on a complimentary shuttle, provided by the North Oakland Transportation Authority. The trolley runs Thursdays 4pm to 9pm and Saturdays 12pm to 9pm from Downtown Oxford to Downtown Lake Orion. 

"The purpose of these events is to allow our community to gather for healing and enjoy the dining and shopping in our downtowns," says Lake Orion DDA events coordinator Suzy Sebastian.

Being outside is a great way to stay healthy, both mentally and physically, in these trying times. This event will celebrate our beautiful, historic, and walkable downtowns and our amazing businesses, as well as giving people an opportunity to meet with old friends and make new ones."  

Lake Orion DDA director Molly LaLone at the festival's opening evening.

In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting, the #strongertogether campaign is a sign of solidarity between the neighboring communities. 

Oxford DDA director Kelly Westbrook visits the Lake Orion downtown during the festival.

"We are so excited to partner with Lake Orion and truly believe in continuing the Stronger Together campaign throughout the year," says Oxford DDA director Kelly Westbrook. "We have been working together and in communication every day to bring these two communities together."

Westbrook also says the community is excited to be running a pilot trolley program, with a complimentary shuttle looping from Oxford to Lake Orion on Thursdays and Saturdays during the festival.

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