Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Downtown Harrisburg braces for a busy March with parade, race, ice, fire

Last year’s Ice and Fire Festival featured this cold seat and some rapidly melting snow.

Two celebrations, just weeks apart, will mean a busy March around downtown Harrisburg.

First up, on March 7, the city hosts its third annual Ice and Fire Festival. The one-day event closes down a portion of N. 2nd Street for free ice skating in the street, children’s activities, music, food trucks, fire dancers and other fun events, capped off by a dozen or so ice sculptures.

True to form for the first week of March, it’s been both frigid and mild for the first two festivals. So, depending on this year’s weather, you’ll be able to admire the elaborate ice sculptures in their full artistic glory or watch them change shape as they slowly melt.

Two weeks later, on March 21, downtown again springs to life with a host of St. Patrick’s Day activities.

The fun takes off at noon for what’s become the start of the long race season in Harrisburg, with the Lucky Charm 5K/10K. At 2 p.m., the run becomes a slow walk as the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade begins to wind its way through the downtown.

The parade will feature six Irish pipe and drum bands, fire trucks, floats, Irish dance groups and other entertainers, in addition to numerous food trucks.

“We are pleased to be hosting this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and are excited to show off more of our downtown business community,” said Todd Vander Woude, executive director of the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District. “We invite you and your family to join us for a great day downtown.”

Several downtown streets will close for the Ice and Fire Festival and St. Patrick’s Day events, which both occur on Saturdays. Four hours of free parking is available in downtown metered spots by using the Parkmobile app with code “LUVHBG.”

Harrisburg’s Ice and Fire Festival takes place on March 7, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., in downtown Harrisburg. For more information, visit

The Lucky Charm 5K/10K begins at noon on 2nd Street in downtown Harrisburg. To sign up, visit the race website. The St. Patrick’s Day parade starts at 2 p.m. from the Market Street Bridge. For more information, visit

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