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{HARRISBURG} — Get ready to be the coolest in town with these hot events as the Ice & Fire Festival returns to the City of Harrisburg.

The annual event, presented this year by M&T Bank, will take place on Saturday, March 2, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“M&T wants to celebrate and highlight the wonderful things happening in the City of Harrisburg” said Nora Habig, Regional President at M&T Bank. “As a community bank, we see the value in bringing people of all ages together – we live here, we work here and we build relationships here – and this event is the perfect way to engage with and invest in our neighbors.”

Nearly 70 ice sculptures located throughout the city will highlight the event, including live ice carvings. There will also be numerous free activities for children, like an ice slide, and ice skating rink with skates supplied, and build-your-own s’mores. Families can enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride by the State Capitol, and through Riverfront Park and City Island. You can also shop for handcrafted art in the artist market inside City Hall or the HBG Flea set up in nearby Strawberry Square.

This year’s festival will take place mostly along 2nd Street in Downtown Harrisburg between Market and Pine Streets. Second Street will be closed between Market and Walnut Streets starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1, then extend to Pine Street beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. Market Street will also be closed between 2nd and Front at 7 a.m. on March 2. All roads will reopen as normal after 10 p.m.

“This the hottest festival on ice,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “We are now in our 7th year, and this is going to be its best year yet. This is the only festival in the city which incorporates the whole city, multiple neighborhoods. We cannot wait to see everyone come together to celebrate being with each other.”

More than half of the 67  ice sculptures will be visible on 2nd Street, along with the UPMC Entertainment Stage where dancers, bands, & vocal groups will play throughout the day. Fire dancers will perform at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Aetna Health Ice Slide will be located at the corner of 2nd and Walnut, as are the firepits, where Karns is donating 200+ free s’mores kits at the start of every hour. There will also be free face painting and balloon animals near the stage, and families can warm up under the USI heated seating tent.

Food trucks will be located on Market Street, between Front and 2nd.

“We saw last year how our businesses along 2nd Street really benefitted from Ice and Fire being back in the heart of downtown,” said Cortney Ranck-Cameron, City of Harrisburg Special Events Manager. “Having most of the festival in close proximity to each other really allows everyone to enjoy every part of the event.”

In addition, everyone who attends is eligible to participate in an ice sculpture scavenger hunt. Participants will have to scan the QR codes on at least 10 ice sculptures. You will be directed to an online form where you will enter your email address. Two winners will be selected randomly to win gift cards to city businesses, including The Brownstone Lodge, Café Fresco, JB Lovedrafts, The Millworks, Nocturnal, Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat, and The Vegetable Hunter.

While most of the activity will take place Downtown, a number of ice sculptures can be seen at Italian Lake, Reservoir Park, City Island, and throughout Midtown. A full map with locations of all ice sculptures and activities can be found in the event guide at HarrisburgPA.gov/Ice.

Free parking will be available throughout the city on March 2 after 5 p.m. You can also get four free hours during the day by using the Parkmobile app and inputting the code LUVHBG. A discounted $10 rate is available at the Market Square Garage courtesy Park Harrisburg. The Walnut and Chestnut Street garages are also available at standard rates.

Krapf School Bus services is also providing free ADA accessible shuttle services between City Island, the Market Street bus depot Downtown, and the Broad Street Market, every 30 minutes starting at 11 a.m. The last shuttle to City Island leaves Midtown at 7:15 p.m.

Ice & Fire is one of six special events hosted by the City of Harrisburg every year. Mark your calendars for Artsfest May 25-27, the July 4th Food Truck Festival & Fireworks, Kipona August 31-September 2, Holiday Parade November 16, and New Year’s Eve Celebration December 31.

Sign up for City of Harrisburg Special Events emails to receive information on all city special events throughout the year at http://eepurl.com/hsY87r. The City will send you no more than 12 emails a year, and you can opt out at any time.