Cabin fever and the lure of Lititz have combined to make one of America’s “coolest small towns” the place to be over President’s Weekend. Ten years ago, the Fire & Ice Festival began as a small-town event that created foot traffic in the downtown area during the dismal month of February. The attraction was ice sculptures and a chili cook-off. They worked like a charm; people turned out in droves to view the sculptures and sample the chili.
Since then, the event has grown by leaps and bounds. The dozen or so sculptures now number 50+ (they’re created by DiMartino Ice Company of Jeannette, PA). The chili cook-off has become the “hottest” ticket in town.
Fire & Ice now kicks off on Friday (5-9 p.m.) with a Block Party along Main and Broad streets (complete with ice-carving demonstrations), and a Party in the Park (Lititz Springs). On Saturday, the Chili Cook-off gets underway at 11 a.m. at Warwick High School. Advance tickets can be purchased until Feb. 11 at various businesses in town (tickets can also be purchased at the door.) The entrants – 25 in all – will be cooking for their chosen causes, which attendees can support with cash votes. Various awards will be presented, including the coveted “People’s Choice.” Ticket proceeds benefit the Lititz LEO Club, a group of middle and high school youth that is sponsored by the Lititz Lions Club. LEOs volunteer in the community, plus support more than 20 charities thanks to money earned through the Chili Cook-off.
Also on Saturday, the high school’s gym will once again be hosting the Winter Wonderland Carnival, where pay-as-you-go is the policy for participating in games and other activities. Food will also be available. The school’s smaller gym will be hosting a Vendor Fair that allows visitors to become acquainted with Lititz-area businesses and services. Hours for both are 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
On Sunday, a Dodgeball Tournament will be contested at the high school. Teams consisting of students in grades 7 ‒ 12 will compete for the Fire & Ice Dodgeball Champion trophy. Spectators are welcome. Teams must pre-register. Hours are 1-5 p.m.
Later that day, Linden Hall will be hosting Community Movie Night at 7 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature a movie, snacks, crafts and more. Admission is free.