Nine things to look forward to in Lancaster County in 2017

By on January 18, 2017

Lancaster County is home to so many unique events, festivals and concerts that it can be difficult to keep track of it all.

If you haven’t experienced a concert at Long’s Park or watched an ice carver create an elegant sculpture at the Lititz Fire & Ice Festival, you might want to mark these events on your calendar.

Here are some things to look forward to in 2017.

Lancaster Roots & Blues Music Festival — The fourth annual Lancaster Roots and Blues fest is set for Feb. 24-26 and will feature eight performance venues and over 70 musical acts. Festival founder Rich Ruoff says he expects 12,000 people over the three days. In 2016, 8,300 people attended the festival, 3,000 more than in 2015. Learn more at lancasterrootsandblues.com.

Clarence Spady (shown above in 2014) will return to the Lancaster Roots and Blues festival in 2017. (Photo by Suzette Wenger)

Clarence Spady (shown above in 2014) will return to the Lancaster Roots and Blues festival in 2017. (Photo by Suzette Wenger)

Lititz Fire & Ice Festival — This four-day festival features a fierce chili cookoff, more than 50 ice sculptures in Lititz Springs Park, a block party, carnival and a dodgeball tournament from Friday, Feb. 17 to Monday, Feb. 20. Visit lititzfireandicesfestival.com to learn more.

Ernie DiMartino, of DiMartino Ice, sculpts a slab of ice in Lititz Springs Park for the 2016 Fire & Ice Festival. (Photo by Casey Kreider)

Ernie DiMartino, of DiMartino Ice, sculpts a slab of ice in Lititz Springs Park for the 2016 Fire & Ice Festival. (Photo by Casey Kreider)

Mud Sales — The sales, which usually start in late February, are a chance to support local charities and volunteer fire companies, plus snag a few deals. The sales have everything from quilts and crafts to antiques and plants. And yes, they can be pretty muddy. And, of course, there’s food. The first one of the year is the Strasburg Spring Consignment and Mud Sale slated for Feb. 25. An up-to-date list of mud sales can be found at lancasterpa.com/mud-sales.

Auction excitement adds to the bidding under the big top at the mud sale in Penryn. This year’s Penryn sale is set for March 18. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Auction excitement adds to the bidding under the big top at the mud sale in Penryn. This year’s Penryn sale is set for March 18. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Zenkaikon — If you’re walking through downtown Lancaster the last weekend in April and happen to bump into a dragon, Harry Potter, a robot, Chewbacca, a Japanese warrior, Batman or a purple-wigged guy in a robe, don’t be scared. The 11th annual convention for fans of anime, Japanese culture, science fiction, fantasy, superheroes and video gaming will bring costumed convention-goers to the Lancaster County Convention Center for a weekend of panels, contests, social events, video gaming and the chance to meet fellow fans from all over the region. This year’s event is April 28-30. Get the details at zenkaikon.com.

Lancaster Artwalk — For those more inclined toward culture and the arts, Lancaster offers a self-guided tour of downtown galleries in the city twice a year. The event includes special exhibitions, opportunities to meet artists, live demonstrations and more. 2017 dates are May 6-7 and Oct. 7-8. Learn more at lancasterartwalk.org.

Celebrate Lancaster — Nearly 20,000 people attend this annual, day-long food and music extravaganza at the start of summer in downtown Lancaster. Nearly 30 food vendors were in attendance at the 2016 event and several bands were featured in the evening at Penn Square and Binns Park. The event culminates with fireworks. More details can be found at visitlancastercity.com/celebrate-lancaster.

Long’s Park Summer Music Series — This highly-regarded outdoors concert series features top-level performers of all genres throughout the summer at Long’s Park. The lineup each year is usually announced in the spring. Performances are scheduled rain or shine Sundays at the Long’s Park amphitheater. The series is in its 55th year. Did we mention it’s free? Find out more at longspark.org/summer-music-series.

Fallfest — The annual country-music celebration is a Lancaster County tradition that draws more than 40,000 people each fall. Past performers include Big & Rich, Josh Turner, Gary Allan and Lonestar. Dates for 2017 are TBA. For details, keep an eye on wiov.com/fallfest-25.

Bridge Bust — The event, which features more than 300 vendors selling art, crafts, antiques and food, is held on the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Wrightsville and Columbia. This year’s event is Saturday, Oct. 7. Learn more at parivertowns.com/m/events/view/Bridge-Bust-Saturday.

Andrea Gillhoolley is the social media editor for LancasterOnline. She can be reached at agillhoolley@lnpnews.com or 481-6140.

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