Hot time in a cool town: Fire & Ice

By on February 8, 2017


The 12th annual Lititz Fire & Ice Festival takes place Feb. 17 through 20 in downtown Lititz, Lititz Springs Park, at Warwick High School, and at Linden Hall School for Girls. The weekend is organized by the Lititz LEO Club.

Events include a downtown block party, a winter carnival, a chili cook-off, a vendor fair, a dodgeball tournament, and a family movie night. This year, streets in the festival area will be closed to traffic on Feb. 17, to accommodate visitors.

Here’s what’s happening during Fire & Ice:

Friday, Feb. 17 – 5 to 9 p.m.

Block Party — An outdoor block party will be held on Main and Broad streets, spilling into Lititz Springs Park. There will be plenty of entertainment, food, games, and more than 50 ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Downtown shops and restaurants will be open as well. Admission to the block party is free.

According to organizer Dawn Rissmiller, there are a record number of ice sculpture sponsors this year. Twelve tons of ice will be used, with many sculptures being designed on site Friday night for the crowds to enjoy. DiMartino Ice Company, of Jeannette, is doing the carving.

Sculptures to look out for this year include: a seahorse in seaweed, a pig with beer, a squirrel, Abe Lincoln, a giant mug of cocoa with whipped cream, a pretzel, Old Man Winter with glasses, a phoenix, a Wilbur Bud, a hand holding a lightning bolt, a penguin, a giant tractor, a barn and silo, an abstract guitarist, a snowflake, a rose, a heart and toothbrush, a mouse, and many more.

“Friday night food trucks are totally unique, and will be a huge draw to the event,” promised Rissmiller

Food vendors will include: Piper Belles’ BBQ, Dutch Country Concessions, Lancaster BRGR Company, Bountiful Feast, Bucky’s Kettle Corn, Shorty’s Funnel Cakes, Sven’s Café, Taco Bill’s Taco Madness, Grilled Cheese Café & Catering, Green Mountain Energy, Brickers French Fries, Garmand Artisan Street Food, Naters Taters, Jo Boys, Uncle Paul’s Stuffed Pretzels, and Brewster’s Barbeque.

Keep your eye on for the latest updates about the events of Feb. 17 through 20.

Keep your eye on for the latest updates about the events of Feb. 17 through 20.

Saturday, Feb. 18 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chili Cook-off — Over 30,000 ounces of chili will be served up by chefs supporting 25+ charities at the annual Chili Cook-off, set for Feb. 18, in the Warwick High School cafeteria. Celebrity judges will be tasting the creations and awarding trophies.

Judges this year are: Ross Peeples, new manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers; Todd Rucci, former Patriots player and VP of Warwick School Board/assistant coach, Warwick Football; Holly Love, radio personality from Bob 94.9; Liz Bell, radio personality from 103.3; and Dawn Rissmiller, co-founder and event organizer of the Lititz Fire & Ice Festival.

Members of the public can purchase a 2017 chili taster admission button at Bomberger’s Store, Dosie Dough of Lititz, or Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill. The cost is $8 for adults; $5 for kids 12 and under. The cost will be higher at the door, pending availability. As of Feb. 9, the pre-sale buttons were nearly sold out.

Five celebrity judges will be tasting and rating more than 25 different chili recipes during the Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off on Feb. 18.

Five celebrity judges will be tasting and rating more than 25 different chili recipes during the Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off on Feb. 18.

Vendor Fair — While the chili is simmering in the cafeteria, a Vendor Fair will be held in the high school’s small gym. Stop by and say hello to local shop owners and artisans as they display and sell their products. There is no admission charge.

“Saturday’s vendor fair will have 45 vendors (10 more than last year),” said Rismiller, “with an array of items from beef jerky to handmade jewelry.”

A sampling of vendors attending are: 8 Myles LLC, American Chainsaw Carvings by Curt, Beaded Chic, British Swim School, Essential Air, Jenni Buffington Art, Lula Rue, Mama Meraki, My Peruvian Treasures, Pampered Chef, author Patti Tingen, Positively Alpaca Farm, Ruby Ribbon, The Chef’s Duds by deb, TJ’s Acorn, Wilts Woolens, Wish Herb, Dutchland Rollers, and Crazy Horse Jerky.


Winter Carnival — In the large gymnasium, a Winter Carnival will be held. There will be bouncy castles, plenty of games, loads of crafts, and many entertainers — all geared for kids 10 and under. Food will be served, courtesy of the Lititz LEO Club. Tickets are sold at the event.

“The carnival is going to be huge!” Rissmiller said. It includes “great inflatables, games, and rides from Lancaster Inflatables.”

Sunday, Feb. 19

Dodgeball Tournament — A dodgeball tournament will take place in the large Warwick High School gym from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday Teams of students in grades seven through 12 will battle for the championship, many in outlandish themed costumes. The event is open to spectators.


Movie — A family movie night will be held in the Linden Hall auditorium, located at 212 E. Main St., at 7 p.m. Sunday. Disney’s “The Lion King,” rated G, is this year’s selection.

In addition to crafts and other family-friendly activities, there will be prize giveaways, including Barnstormers tickets, dinner passes, movie passes, and more. There is no admission charge; doors open at 6 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 20

President’s Day — The ice sculptures will be on display through the end of the day Monday. Take a walk around the downtown area on President’s Day to view the sculptures, and check out the specials at local businesses and eateries.

Details about all these events can be found at, and on the Lititz Fire & Ice Festival Facebook page. A map of the downtown and park ice sculpture display areas, along with a schedule and ads from event sponsors, can be found on pages A14-15 of this edition.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or¶

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