In celebration of the one-year anniversary of First Fridays in downtown Marietta, Marietta Main Street repeated the theme from January 2017’s event: Fire and Ice Night.

Ice sculptures were on display throughout downtown, thanks to the coordination of Main Street’s Promotions Committee, chaired by Debbie Cline of Twisted Sisters Boutique on Front Street.

“The response to the Fire and Ice Night events have been amazing,” shared Debbie. “People came downtown not only Friday night to see the beautiful works of art, but we saw people through the beginning of the week stopping and admiring Tyson’s sculptures. We are so fortunate to have his talent and dedication to make this night so special.”

This year, one local artist was responsible for each sculpture on display. Tyson Whistler, head chef at Glenwood Retirement Community, started preparing the ice blocks in November to be carved starting in December.

“The sculptures carved by Tyson are incredible. They are works of art, and we’ve received a generous amount of positive feedback regarding the beauty and unique character of each and every sculpture on display,” shared Cristie Thomas, Executive Director of Marietta Main Street.

Tyson with his sculpture at the Peoples Bank Theatre.

Thomas continues to share some of the inspiration for the theme. “Community members too easily think that Marietta shuts off, like a switch, during the winter months but that just isn’t true. Our downtown businesses stay open the whole year through, and part of our challenge at Main Street is to generate traffic downtown during the months our downtown businesses really need revenue, which also happens to be the same months we have the lowest foot traffic downtown.”

Local fire performance troupe The Burning Dawn was originally scheduled to perform a fire show on the lawn of the Armory, but unfortunately needed to cancel last minute. However, the fire theme was still on display thanks to the creative minds of downtown business owners.

“A handful of restaurants downtown featured fire-themed drink and food options, and some retailers welcomed live musicians inside their store to inspire people to come inside and stay warm. Others, like Riverside Artists Gallery and Twisted Sisters Boutique, featured the work of local artists that was either created by fire or featured fire in their creations,” shares Sarah Arnold, President of the Board.

First Friday events in downtown Marietta feature different themes each month as a fun way to keep the community engaged throughout the year. Marietta Main Street is excited to launch new themes this year, including the Wine & Chocolate Walk in February, Non-Profit Night in March, and Marietta’s Birthday Party in April.

“Really, if there’s one thing I could ask of our community, it’s to join us downtown the First Friday of each month. Grab dinner, pop in a few shops, enjoy the festivities, and help us grow the community in Marietta,” says Thomas.

Tickets are already on sale for February’s Wine & Chocolate Walk, but they are going fast! Check out the full calendar of First Friday themes in 2018 by visiting