Chili Cook-Off, Carnival Slated for Saturday; See Schedule Below

Sixteen-year-old Xiaohe Gan, an exchange student from Beijing, China stood in the bitter Lititz cold Friday night in his dark blue parka, his hood pulled tightly around his face, trying to ward off the chilly 16-degree temperatures.

He’s not used to this kind of cold.

With temperatures topping out in the teens tonight in Lititz, die-hard lovers of winter weather turned out on the eve of Valentine’s Day to meander among the myriad ice sculptures located in Lititz Springs Park and throughout the downtown area during the 10th Annual Fire and Ice Festival.

Exchange Student

Xiaohe Gan, an exchange student from China who studies in Maryland, came to Lititz for the Fire and Ice Festival. Photo by Lynn Rebuck/

As Gan struck a pose and waited for his stateside host, Judy Marchegiani from Maryland, to snap a photo, he bore a resemblance to the whimsical icy figure standing before him.

Marchegiani’s cell phone flash wasn’t working properly, an occurrence repeated throughout the park tonight likely due to the low temps, so it took a few tries to get a shot. The pair had driven north from Whitemarsh for the event, which she heard about from someone in North Carolina. The pair invited Lori Enders of Mountville to join them, and together they enjoyed their time in the park.

“It was good,” said Gan, an 11th grader at a Christian school, whose favorite sculpture was “the ASAP one,” he said.

Marchegiani laughed.

“Because I’m like, ‘Do that, now, as soon as possible,’” she said.

With a party that showcased Lititz businesses and a party in the park featuring live ice sculpting demonstrations, the frigid event was a double dip of ice-themed fun.

For one visitor from York, it turned out to be a much chillier experience than anticipated, when a photo op led to an unexpected dip in Lititz Springs.

“There’s that blue light that’s on the water down there,” said Aaron Wiest, a DJ for Complete Weddings and Events in Lancaster. “When I went to approach it, I didn’t see any ripples in the water there, and so I just jumped right in, and my feet are soaked right now,” he said.

EyesYork Couple at Ice Throne

Aaron Wiest and fiancee Sarah Collins pose in LItitz Springs Park during the Fire and Ice Festival. Photo by Lynn Rebuck/

Wiest and his fiancee, Sarah Collins of Wrightsville, enjoyed a warm moment together later in front of the ice throne recalling their warm-weather engagement spot (Florida) and their favorite ice Lititz ice sculptures.

“I liked the hummingbird,” said Collins. “I thought that one was really beautiful.”

“I thought the dragon was cool,” said Wiest. “There wasn’t a light on it, but, so it was kind of hanging out in the dark.”

For Weist’s mother, Leora, the highlight was seeing her son walk in water, which came as quite a surprise. When she  later tried to strike a pose in the icy throne, she found it slippery.

All three agreed that the festival is a nice way to spend time with family.

Middle School Friends

Warwick seventh graders Lauren LeFevre, Ava Vulopas, Molly Johnson, and Lauren Epps pose Friday night at Fire and Ice. Photo by Lynn Rebuck/

A group of Warwick Middle School students was having a great time together, despite the chilly temperatures.

“We’re all friends and we were off of school today for Inservice day, so we decided to get together,” said Lauren LeFevre, who came to the park with fellow seventh graders Ava Vulopas, Molly Johnson, and Lauren Epps. Their favorite sculpture?

“The Lion,” they said. The pig in front of Pork and Wally’s was a second sculpture favorite with the group.

Believe it or not, Friday night might be the warmest night all weekend to see the sculptures that are scheduled to remain in the park through Monday, as the National Weather Service has issued both a high wind watch and a wind chill watch for Saturday evening.  Light snow is expected tomorrow afternoon and a high wind watch is in effect for the area from Saturday night through Sunday morning, with real-feel temperatures into the negative numbers for overnight.

The remainder of the weekend Fire and Ice events are indoor, including a chili cook-off that promises to bring the fire to the festival, a carnival, a dodge ball tournament, and a community movie night.  For a schedule of events and a map of ice sculpture locations, see below.

Here’s the Fire and Ice Festival Schedule and a map of the ice sculptures:


PARTY in the PARK | 5-9pm | Lititz Springs ParK: Ice sculptures, food, games & live entertainment

Downtown Block Party | 5-9pm | Main St & Broad St The “coolest” retailers in Lititz, ice sculptures & more!


CHILI COOK-OFF | 11-3pm | WHS Cafeteria: Over 30,000 ounces of chili supporting 25+ charities

WINTER WONDERLAND CARNIVAL | 11-3pm | WHS Gym: Indoor carnival: games, activities, contests, food & FUN

VENDOR FAIR | 11-3pm | WHS Small Gym: Local businesses showcasing local products & services

LINDEN HALL | 12-5pm | Ice block sculpting and Indoor craft project


DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT | 1-5pm | WHS Gym: 7-8th & 9-12th grade teams will battle for the championship

COMMUNITY MOVIE NIGHT | Doors open at 6pm -Movie begins 7pm | Linden Hall

“Frozen – Interactive” Costume Contest, Special Guests, Crafts and Goodies from 6 to 7pm.


Lynn Rebuck

Lynn Rebuck covers community events for She welcomes your comments and questions at