‘Why Can’t Saturday Match Friday’s Fire & Ice Visuals?’

By on February 28, 2018

Look for more sculptures, improved parking, additional downtown lighting, and shuttle service at 2019 event

A crowd was gathered in front of the Lititz Mutual Insurance building as Jared McCallister carved an eight-foot-high seahorse from a block of ice. Photo by Dick Wanner

A crowd was gathered in front of the Lititz Mutual Insurance building as Jared McCallister carved an eight-foot-high seahorse from a block of ice. Photo by Dick Wanner

Many Fire & Ice attendees last month asked why Friday night’s spectacular pyrotechnic brilliance doesn’t extend to Saturday night’s Fire & Ice festivities.

It’s not that simple.

That’s because Stray Production Services generously donates the equipment and labor for all of the lighting and staging on Friday.

That donation is summed up as “HUGE” by Holly DeKarske, executive director of Venture Lititz.

“I don’t think people realize the cost related to doing this,” she said. “That’s not something we can ask for two nights in a row, we just cannot.”

If the public really wants to make the Saturday night Fire & Ice the same visual experience as Friday, money must be found to pay for it.

“If we can find a way to pay for it, maybe we can look into it,” DeKarske said. “This is also a free event for the public, so I think all that needs to be taken into consideration.”

Another complaint that can’t really be addressed by event organizers is the weather. Once the ice is out, it is out for good at Fire & Ice. Sometimes the sculptures will last until Monday, but not always.

“I think veterans of this event know they have experienced every possible extreme in weather,” DeKarske said. “I think last year it was 70 on Friday and the ice barely made it to Saturday, and the year before there was cold and a ton of snow.”

So, you just never know what you might get, and in turn how long the ice lasts.

“We leave it up as long as it’s recognizable and safe for the public. That could be 24 hours or 7 days, you just don’t know, making it very difficult to plan an event similar to Friday for the next day, we might not even have ice to light up.”

Of the total 67 ice sculptures, 15 were larger multi-blocks. Visitors who suggested there were less carvings this year may have been fooled by the newer format, which spread out sculptures along Broad and Main streets.

“There were more (ice sculptures), we cut off sales because DiMartino couldn’t accommodate anymore for this year,” said DeKarske, who hinted there would be more sculptures and live carvings next year.

This lucky girl was the first to sit on the Fire & Ice royal throne on Friday’s “ice” portion of the event. Photo by Patrick Burns

This lucky girl was the first to sit on the Fire & Ice royal throne on Friday’s “ice” portion of the event. Photo by Patrick Burns

Another thought going forward is the possible inclusion of shuttle buses. The committee had considered it this year but just didn’t have the ability to add that component.

“Good news, we have already secured shuttles for next year and are working on the logistics,” DeKarske said. “We are also working on mapping out parking suggestions for folks coming into town, a dedicated handicap accessible parking area near the event, tour bus drop-off area, maybe extending Friday night’s event hours, and possible street closures for Saturday.”

Other planned improvements include temporary directional signage, added downtown street lighting, and an improved event website.

Patrick Burns is News Editor and Social Media Editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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