Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Hot & Cold: 2nd Annual Ice & Fire Festival slides into Harrisburg.

Devan Drabik of ExploreHBG speaks at today’s press conference announcing the 2nd annual Ice & Fire Festival in downtown Harrisburg.

The Harrisburg area found itself encased in ice this morning, seemingly the perfect day to announce the city’s second annual winter festival.

The appropriately named “Ice & Fire Festival” will feature a host of seasonal activities, including illuminated ice sculptures, a 33-foot ice slide, an ice-skating rink, an artist market and live musical performances, said Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

“I’m excited that our newest festival is entering its second year,” Papenfuse said. “It should be a great day in downtown Harrisburg.”

The festival, which takes place March 2 beginning at 1 p.m., will culminate in the late afternoon and early evening with fire jugglers, fire dancing and a concert by the local rock band, the Luv Gods.

There also will be food trucks, an enclosed sitting area, acoustic music, local performance groups, glass blowing workshops, a fire pit lounge with s’mores and more activities along 2nd Street from Market to Pine streets.

A “reverse” food truck will be on site to accept food donations, Papenfuse said. A few blocks ways, the HBG Flea will set up shop in Strawberry Square.

The $50,000 event is paid for exclusively through sponsorships, without the use of any taxpayer money, Papenfuse said.

Attendees have several parking options, according to the mayor.

The city will offer free parking on City Island on the day of the festival, and Park Harrisburg is offering a flat rate of $10 to park in the Market Square Garage from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Also, festival-goers can get four free hours of street parking downtown through the ParkMobile app by using the code “LUVHBG.” Street parking in most of downtown is free after 5 p.m.

Those driving through downtown may encounter some delays. One lane of 2nd Street in the heart of downtown will be closed starting on Friday. The area of the festival, 2nd Street from Market to Pine streets and several adjacent side streets, will be closed to all traffic on Saturday.

Appropriately, the long-term forecast calls for a return of winter temperatures for the first week of March.

“Make sure you bring your coats,” said Devan Drabik, the director of ExploreHBG, a festival sponsor and promoter. “It’ll be a little cold.”

The 2nd annual Ice & Fire Festival will take place Saturday, March 2, 1 to 9 p.m., between Market and Pine streets in downtown Harrisburg. For more information, including a map of all events, visit

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