In a town full of old traditions, a new one is being forged right in the heart of February (sorry, there was no pun intended for you Valentine’s Day enthusiasts out there.) I got a chance to attend Lititz’s 4th Annual Fire & Ice Festival this past Saturday for the first time. Last February I started to see signs for last year’s event popping up around town, but having literally just moved back into town that month I was a little preoccupied with unpacking and trying to figure out where the heck my cordless drill was to dedicate a few hours on the weekend to the festival.
This year, after finally getting that last moving box unpacked (or more accurately banishing it to the darkest corner of my basement), I made it a point to walk downtown and get in on the action. Fire & Ice is an apropos moniker for the event. The “Fire” manifests itself as a chili cook-off while the “Ice” is represented… well… by ice. Block ice sculptures to be exact. The frozen pieces of art are liberally strewn about the shops throughout the downtown area during the festival. It’s amazing what someone (90’s joke alert) besides Sharon Stone can do with an ice pick.
After checking out the ice art, I headed over to Lititz Elementary to cast my vote in the Chili Cook-off. Stew suffrage has been a long neglected issue in our area and I’m glad that the Lititz Lions LEO Club (the organizers of the Fire & Ice event) have finally decided to seriously address it head on. I sampled about 20 different chilies from local restaurants and charities and donated some extra bucks to support the various causes those entrants represented. There definitely was a wide variety of Chili there and being a big fan of tex-mex type foods, I didn’t walk away disappointed from a taste standpoint.
They stretch the festival over the course of the weekend, having a family block party and ice carving demonstrations on Friday night, the chili cook-off and activities for the kids on Saturday, and extended hours for downtown shops on Sunday. I only ever need the flimsiest of excuses to get to downtown Lititz, because if you’re lucky and the wind is blowing in the right direction the whole town smells like chocolate. My family is already a regular presence at the Lovin’ Lititz Every Second events there, as we enjoy the live entertainment and hopping in and out of the bevy of little locally-owned shops, so getting out to the Fire & Ice Festival was an easy decision to make.
So, if you like hot Chili and art that melts, make sure to put a big red circle on your calendar for next February. The Fire & Ice Festival is just another great reason to visit Lititz and Lancaster County, PA!