Talkeetna is the place to be the first weekend in February, as the second-annual Talkeetna Ice Festival includes a packed schedule of fun events.

The almost week-long event is sponsored by the Denali Arts Council. The carving begins on Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the Village Park, for novice and expert carvers. All sculptures must be completed by noon on Saturday, Feb. 4. However, the weekend isn't just about ice - it's about family-friendly activities taking place throughout town.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the Talkeetna Historical Society is hosting Talkeetna Jeopardy!, a local spin on the popular television show. Teams of three will compete at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar starting at 7 p.m. To sign up, e-mail

On Friday, Feb. 3, the Talkeetna Art Walk takes place from 3-6 p.m., with 13 participating businesses featuring art from locals. The free event includes interactive art installations, games, hot beverages and light snacks. Each location has passports available, and once you complete the passport, you are entered in to a drawing. At 6 p.m., a fire spinning performance takes place outside the hanger.

On Saturday, it's the main event! From noon to 3 p.m., walk around the Village Park and explore the ice sculptures. There will be hot beverages, kid-friendly games, an ice carving demonstration, a scavenger hunt and a dog "keg pulling" contest down Main Street. Cap off the fun-filled day with a free house concert from 7 Duo, an Anchorage-based band, at 7 p.m. 

Cap the weekend off with the Frozen Basil poker ski run starting at noon on Sunday at the Flying Squirrel, and then the Talkeetna Elementary School PTA Souper Skate from 4-6 p.m. at Talkeetna Elementary School.

With so many fun, family-friendly activities planned in Talkeetna, consider making it a weekend. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts, cabins and other lodging options available.