“Fairy Tales & Fantasy” is the theme of the Havre de Grace Ice Festival, which is scheduled for the weekend of March 13 and 14 in downtown, featuring more than 40 lighted ice sculptures.
“After two earlier cancellations due to the pandemic, we are finally able to bring this event to beautiful downtown Havre de Grace,” Bambi Johnson, the executive director of the Havre de Grace Alliance, said. Visit Harford is sponsoring the event.
Ice sculptures on display around downtown will feature dragons, superheroes, Harry Potter, Disney and other characters, as well as much more. Attendees can vote on their favorite ice sculptures, and everyone who votes will be entered into a raffle to win a yet-to-be-announced prize.
Other activities at the event include live ice-carving demonstrations, outdoor hot toddy and craft beer garden hosted by MacGregors, live performances, character meet and greets, a mini unicorn, an Ice Princess parade, vendors, crafters, artisans, corn hole boards made of ice, and more. Visitors can also carve their name in ice on the Visit Harford graffiti wall.
The ice festival will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 14. Admission to the event is free, although tickets will be sold for the chili tastings, “Elsa & Friends Live!” performances at the Opera House, and the “Nothing Up My Sleeve” magic shows at the State Theater.
Indoor events such as the Elsa show and magic show will be held to 50% capacity to comply with state guidelines, Johnson said.
“Tickets are still available, but the kids’ shows sell out fast and at 50% capacity, they will go even faster. Don’t wait if you want tickets to either or both shows,” she said.
Elsa & Friends at the Opera House shows will take place on Saturday only at 3 and 5 p.m. and run about 30 minutes. The cost is $5 for children ages 3 to 17 and $7 for adults 18 and older. Tickets can be purchased at hdgoperahouse.org.
Tickets for the magic show at The State Theater cost $7 for children 3 to 17 and $10 or adults. Showtimes are at noon and 2 p.m. Sunday. Those tickets can be purchased at statetheaterofhdg.com starting Friday.
For the chili tastings, which will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday only, tickets are sold at the festival’s info booth at Pennington Avenue and Washington Street. Each $10 ticket includes a souvenir mug and tastings at most of the local restaurants. Tickets then become ballots to vote for your favorite chili, which will be announced at the start of Sunday’s festivities, Johnson said.
Sunday will feature a few kid-friendly activities, including a live “mini unicorn” and a Princess Parade. Clyde, the “mini unicorn” from Hogback Mountain Pony Rides, will be at the Ice Festival all day on Sunday. The parade, for children 13 and under dressed as their favorite fairy tale or fantasy princess will take place at 3 p.m. down Washington Street. One child will be crowned Ice Princess 2021.
Costumed characters will also be on hand throughout the weekend for pictures, including a snowman, reindeer, penguins and a teddy bear.
This will be the city’s third annual Ice Festival, although the first two in 2019 and last year were held over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in January. This year’s festival was pushed back from the intended weekend to Feb. 20 and 21, and rescheduled again to the current dates, due to COVID-19 metrics being too high, Johnson said.
The event is primarily held outdoors, but face mask mandates and other COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect throughout the duration of the festival, Johnson said.
“We actually have ‘spotters’ who stroll through the event to encourage people to spread out where a line or crowd begins to form,” she said. “They will also have disposable masks to offer anyone without one.”
For more information about the event, visit its Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/IceFestialHdG or call the HdG Visitor Center at 410-939-2100.