Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Cold & Hot: Harrisburg gears up for third annual Ice & Fire Festival

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse speaks at today’s Ice & Fire Festival press conference.

The first week of March is forecast to feel more like spring than winter, but that’s OK with the organizers of the city’s Ice & Fire Festival.

In the lobby of city hall today, conversation already centered around the weather forecast for the March 7 festival, which will feature ice sculptures, an ice slide and an ice skating rink.

But, for city officials, nice weather is just fine, if it means strong attendance.

“We are expecting tremendous crowds this year,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “We’ve seen this festival grow every year.”

This will be the festival’s third year in the heart of downtown Harrisburg, which runs along 2nd Street from Pine to Market streets.

But the festival isn’t confined to cold-weather events. The “fire” portion includes fire dancers, a fire-eater and a fire pit lounge. There also will be entertainment such as choirs, musicians and other performers.

An ice-creaming event, sponsored by Urban Churn, will combine both elements of the theme, as it will feature the red-hot “Carolina Reaper” pepper, to see if anyone can finish a bowl.

Other highlights include food trucks, art and craft vendors and glass-blowing workshops. Up Market Street, the HBG Flea will set up shop in Strawberry Square.

Numerous streets close for the event, including:

  • 2nd Street, between Market and Pine streets, which will close at 10 p.m. on Friday
  • Walnut, Locust & Pine Streets between 3rd and Front streets, which will close at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 7
  • Market Street between Front & 2nd streets, which also will close at 7:30 on March 7

All roads will reopen on Sunday, March 8 at noon.

For parking, the Market Square Garage will offer $10 special event parking from 10 a.m. to midnight. Also, attendees can park for free at the city’s lot on City Island and can use the ParkMobile App to get up to four hours of free street parking using the “LUVHBG” code. Street parking is free after 5 p.m.

The 3rd annual Ice & Fire Festival will take place March 7, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., in downtown Harrisburg. For more details, visit  the event website.

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