Harrisburg, PA – Mayor Eric Papenfuse will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27, at the MLK City Government Center to announce plans for the Kipona Festival that will be held August 31 – September 2 on Riverfront Park and City Island.  

“This will be an exciting event,” said Mayor Papenfuse, “and we are expecting large crowds from Harrisburg and its surrounding regions to join us for what promises to be an incredible 103rd Kipona Celebration.”   

“I especially want to thank our title sponsor, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, and our Gold and Silver Sponsors –UPMC Pinnacle and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency,” Mayor Papenfuse said. “Without their support, we would not be able to organize such a great festival.”  

This year’s event will feature returning attractions such as the Native American Pow Wow, Artist Market, Paws in the Park, tightwire walkers, canoe and kayak races, rubber duck race, crab cake eating contest, fireworks, live music with more than 30 bands in two performance areas, biergarten, 35 food vendors and more. Fireworks will be held on Sunday, September 1 at approximately 8:15pm.  

New activities slated for the Festival include the Festival of Colors, Holi, which is a Hindu celebration of new beginnings. Participants celebrate by tossing an array of colorful powder into the air and onto each other. The tightwire walkers will once again make a dramatic feat across the Susquehanna River on a tightwire and this year they will feature a special evening performance illuminated with fire torches and fire breathing on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. Participants of all ages can also join Sculpt Pilates and Barre for a Pilates mat class and herb planting workshop on Monday. Registration for the class is $15 and must be made in advance.  

The expanded family fun zone features free face painting and a kids craft. A kids stage will feature acts from Gamut Theatre’s Popcorn Hat Players, magician Eddy Ray, Ryan the Bug Man, Harrisburg Improv Theatre, Tha’ Maniacz dance group, Legacy Dance Group, a story hour with local author Debra Hervitz and more. Additional family fun zone activities include a 25-foot high rockwall on Saturday, a roller-skating rink in the street with free skating and skate rentals on Sunday and a free Bubble Festival with Grandpop Bubbles on Monday. Recreational opportunities such as the Dick Reese Canoe and Kayak Races and Harrisburg Free Kick Street Soccer Tournament will also take place on Monday.  

Street parking on Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2 will be free. Parking on City Island will be $5. SP Plus will provide $10 special event parking in the Market Square garage from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.  Four hours of free street parking on Saturday, August 31 will be available using the code “LUVHBG” in the ParkMobile App.  

Special thanks to all of our sponsors including Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, ExploreHBG, UPMC Pinnacle, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Belco Community Credit Union, Capital Blue Cross, Aetna Better Heath, SP Plus, Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District, Green Mountain Energy, Boost Mobile and Bath Fitter.  

For more information, contact Momin Bhatti, Communications Manager, at  mbhatti@harrisburgpa.gov or 717-255-6535. 



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