The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 10, 2012

Fire and ice | Annual Somerset festival of sculptures and food kicks off Friday

Ice is nice, and a local winter festival blends the frozen stuff with hot food, live entertainment and other activities.

The 17th annual Fire & Ice Festival will be held Friday through Sunday in downtown Somerset.

“Ice is the draw, but we have so many other activities,” said Stephanie Williams, executive director of Somerset Inc., which sponsors the festival.

Williams said that last year, the weather was cold but attendance was slightly down because a Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game was scheduled.

The event is free, but $6 admission pins are necessary for some venues.

Information, guidebooks, pin and souvenir sales and a silent auction will be located at festival headquarters, 122 N. Center Ave.

Pins also are available at participating Somerset merchants and restaurants.

Employees of Mastro Gourmet Quality Ice of Pittsburgh will carve ice sculptures throughout the weekend.

“They set up Friday and start to carve Friday and Saturday,” Williams said.

“If I had my way, they would carve less than half in Pittsburgh and the rest here, but that would be a lot of work for them.”

Williams said ice-carving times are weather dependent.

“It’s supposed to be 28 degrees, but that can change in a minute,” she said. “I used to lie awake and worry about the weather, but I can’t control it.”

What: 17th annual Fire & Ice Festival.

Where: Downtown Somerset.

When: Friday through Sunday.

Admission: Free; $6 admission pins required for some venues.

Information: 443-1748 or

Also, woodcarvers will be set up throughout the weekend at Eat’n Park, 926 N. Center Ave.; Cat’s Attic, 226 W. Patriot St.; and on the Diamond.

Friday the 13th walking tours of the Uptown Historic District will start at 3 p.m. at the courthouse on East Union Street.

Sleigh rides by Misty Haven Carriage will be available for $5 from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. They will be located at North Center Avenue and West Union Street.

A children’s center featuring crafts and activities will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church, 139 E. Main St.

Friday evening’s entertainment will start with a teen band blast from 6 to 10 p.m. at Somerset High School. Admission is $5.

Christian concerts will be held from 7 to 9 Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 149 W. Patriot St.

The Irish band Full Kilt from Johnstown will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the American Legion, 162 W. Main St. Admission is by Fire & Ice pin only, which must be purchased in advance.

A fireworks display by Little Big Shots of Addison will light up the skies beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Michael O’Brian Band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion. Admission is by Fire & Ice pin and an additional $4 ticket purchased in advance.

Tickets are available at festival headquarters, the American Legion and Somerset Drug.

A variety of food will be available throughout the weekend.

A soup sale will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church.

A bake sale by the Torch and Keystone Clubs, Boys & Girls Club of Somerset, will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 127 N. Center Ave.

An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast sponsored by Somerset Kiwanis Club will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 110 S. Edgewood Ave.

A Hot Stuff Chili and Soup Cookoff will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion. Admission is by Fire & Ice pin or $6.

A roast beef or ham dinner sponsored by Somerset Volunteer Fire Department auxiliary will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday in the community room of the Somerset Safety Building, 340 W. Union St.

The cost is $9 per person.

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