Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg to host first annual “Ice & Fire” winter festival next month.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse was joined by city officials, representatives from Capital Blue Cross and D&H Distribution, and Elsa from “Frozen” at City Hall on Thursday.

Harrisburg may be slick with ice today, but there’s more to come at a new city festival next month.

The first annual Ice & Fire festival will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 1 to 9 p.m. in the city’s downtown business district. All of the events will be free and open to the public.

“We’re celebrating the end of winter,” Mayor Eric Papenfuse said in a press conference at city hall on Thursday.

Attractions will include a 2,400-square-foot outdoor skating rink on Market Street with complimentary skate rentals, an inflatable toboggan slide, and an ice castle with characters from the movie “Frozen.” Festival-goers can also take in ice sculptures, fire dance performances and musical acts by a DJ and live bands.

City officials also hope that festival will bring business to local shops and restaurants. Food trucks will be stationed downtown, and the HBG Flea, a monthly art market, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Strawberry Square.

The $50,000 event will be funded by sponsorships, Papenfuse said, including significant contributions by Capital Blue Cross and D&H Distribution.

“The city was prepared to provide funding, but I’m really pleased that we covered it with the full support of sponsors,” Papenfuse said.

The mayor noted that Harrisburg’s summer festivals, such as Kipona, bring thousands of regional visitors into the city each year. He said that Ice & Fire will be Harrisburg’s first winter festival. If the event is a success, the city may repeat it in the future as a multi-day festival.

“We’re piloting it as a one-day festival, but we will look to expanding it,” Papenfuse said.

Metered parking will be enforced on the day of the festival. Attendees can enter the coupon code “LUVHBG” in the ParkMobile app to redeem four hours of free parking. The Market Square Garage will offer full-day parking for $10, and parking in City Island garages will be free.

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