Make plans to be with us in the City of Harrisburg on March 4 for the annual Ice & Fire Festival! Come check out innovative ice sculptures, make your own smores, and see fascinating fire dancers!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
March 1, 2023
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 4, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
“M&T wants to celebrate and highlight the wonderful things happening in the City of Harrisburg” said Andy Hetrick, Commercial Banking Group Manager 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.”
More than 60 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 build-your-own s’mores. Families can enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through Riverfront Park and City Island. You can also sign up to take part in a glass icicle workshop, and 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 3, then extend to Pine Street beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 4. Market Street will also be closed between 2nd and Front at 7 a.m. on March 4. All roads will reopen as normal at midnight.
“This is now the 6th year of Ice & Fire and it’s going to be better than it has ever been before,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “This year’s festival will bring everyone together in a way we’ve never seen; from this whole region, down to our neighborhoods, and our businesses on the rise. We cannot wait to see everyone come together to celebrate being with each other.”
More than half of the ice sculptures will be visible on 2nd Street, along with the UPMC Entertainment Stage where dancers, bands, & vocal groups will play throughout the day, and fire dancers will perform at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 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 Pennsy Supply heated seating tent while listening to acoustic musicians near Market Street.
Food trucks will be located on Market Street, between Front and 2nd.
“We wanted to bring the street festival portion of the event back to 2nd Street to really enhance the festival experience with all attractions located closer together,” said Cortney Ranck-Cameron, City of Harrisburg Special Events Manager. “Our businesses along Restaurant Row are especially looking forward to having everyone back along 2nd Street.”
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 717 Sweets, JB Lovedrafts Micropub, City Island Water Golf, Open Stage, and the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat.
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.
The festivities get underway on Friday, March 3 at the Broad Street Market at 5:30 p.m. with the inaugural Chili Cook-Off sponsored by Capital Blue Cross. Nearly 15 vendors at the Broad Street Market will present their chili creations to a panel of judges, including Mayor Williams. Tickets to sample & vote on the chilis are available for $10 per adult, and $5 for children, with proceeds benefiting the Broad Street Market. Tickets can be bought through this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/broad-street-market-chili-cook-off-tickets-533867220227
Free parking will be available throughout the city on March 4, including all day on City Island, in Midtown at Reily and Logan Streets lots #2 and #4 and free two-hour parking at Fulton and Verbeke, at the parking lot at Reservoir Park off of Reservoir Drive, and street parking in Shipoke. All parking Downtown is free after 5 p.m., and you can unlock four free hours of street parking in the Downtown area prior to 5 p.m. using the code LUVHBG in the Parkmobile app. The Market Square Garage is $10 from 10am-10pm courtesy of Park Harrisburg.
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 8:15 p.m.
Ice & Fire is one of six special events hosted by the City of Harrisburg every year. Mark your calendars for Artsfest May 27-29, the July 4th Food Truck Festival & Fireworks, Kipona September 2-4, Holiday Parade November 18, 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.