2018's Reading Fire + Ice Fest to be 'bigger and better'

'This event has proven to be a real crowd-pleaser'

READING, Pa. - Whatever the forecast, the second weekend of January in downtown Reading is guaranteed to be both hot and cold.

The Reading Downtown Improvement District (DID) announced plans Wednesday for the annual Reading Fire + Ice Fest.

The fourth installment of the event will take place January 12 and 13 in the 500 block of Penn Street, but this year's festival promises to outdo the others.

"We're gearing up to make Reading Fire + Ice Fest bigger and better than ever," said Charles Broad, DID's executive director. "Thanks to Berks County Community Foundation’s generosity and support, this signature event will provide great wintertime fun for everyone."

The festival will feature a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities, including a Snowfall Ball, professional ice-carving competitions, fire performances, a chili cook-off, an ice wine bar, live music, and food trucks.

All outdoor activities will be free; nominal fees will be charged for entrance to the cook-off and ball, the latter of which will feature a performance by regional band Go Go Gadget.

Also tied into the event this year will be the return of world championship ice racing at the Santander Arena at 7:30 p.m. on January 13.

"We're excited to see what the Reading Downtown Improvement District has planned for the 2018 edition of Reading Fire + Ice Fest," said Heidi Williamson, the community foundation's Vice President for Programs and Initiatives. "This event has proven to be a real crowd-pleaser, and also serves as an uplifting catalyst for downtown revitalization."

Broad said several festival and ice sculpture sponsorship opportunities are still available. More information is available by contacting DID's office at 610-376-6424.

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