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Somerset’s Fire & Ice Festival warms up winter with food, fireworks, fun |
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Somerset’s Fire & Ice Festival warms up winter with food, fireworks, fun

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, January 16, 2019 1:30 a.m
The Boomers will perform Jan. 18 at the American Legion Post 181 in Somerset as part of the Fire & Ice Festival.
Somerset’s 24th annual Fire & Ice Festival will celebrate with a winter fireworks show from Little Big Shots on Jan. 18.
Kids play hockey on an ice rink at a previous Somerset Fire & Ice Festival. This year’s event is set for Jan. 18-20.
An ice carving takes shape at an earlier Somerset Fire & Ice Festival. This year’s event is scheduled Jan. 18-20.

With the theme “Board Games,” Somerset Inc.’s 24th annual Fire & Ice Festival is set for Jan. 18-20 throughout the historic borough.

Plans include ice sculptures, fireworks, live ice carving demonstrations, a chili cook-off, train display, film festival, ice skating rink, a 5K walk/run, a beer, wine and spirits tent and more.

“It’s a big festival. You could come and you could spend the weekend,” says Regina Coughenour, Somerset, Inc. executive director.

The annual fundraiser helps support Somerset Inc. in operating its Main Street program, Coughenour says, from public art to downtown renovation projects.

“It’s very important to us,” she says.

Hot and cold fun

The “Board Games” theme will be reflected in the 42 ice sculptures planned, including an interactive version of the classic “Operation,” Coughenour says.

“Candyland, Monopoly, all of the sculptures will be themed in that way,” she says.

Visitors can see the Laurel Highlands Model Railroad Club train display, enjoy carriage rides, a synthetic rink for ice skating, a trivia tournament, pancake breakfast, soup sale, silent auction and fireworks (6:30 p.m. Friday).

“Every year we have a window decorating contest for our businesses. I’m hoping when people step into downtown or uptown, the Somerset Fire & Ice Festival will feel like a game board,” she says.

Whether 6 degrees or 60, the festival will go on.

“We have lots of ‘weatherproof’ events,” Coughenour says.

Various stores are sponsoring games, and the Mary S. Biesecker Library will offer a film festival with a board game theme.

An indoor marketplace will host 35 artisan vendors, selling maple syrup products, candles, pottery, wooden carvings, home decor and more, Coughenour says.

And if it’s chilly, bonfires will help throw some heat.

A Monopoly top hat pin, sold for $6 at various locations, allows visitors free entry to entertainment events, the chili and soup cook-off (3-5 p.m., Saturday, American Legion, 162 W. Main St.), discounted ice rink entry and deals at local businesses.

“The beer, wine and spirits tent will have four local alcohol vendors. … You can get a caramel moonshine hot chocolate and watch some ice sculpting,” Coughenour says.

Walk, run and dance

The Boomers will perform 8-11 p.m. Friday at the American Legion, while Diamond Star Halo will provide entertainment 8-11 p.m. Saturday at the Somerset Fraternal Order of Eagles, 110 S. Edgewood Ave.

The 5K Walk/Run (10 a.m. Saturday) is a popular annual event. “People come from across the state for that,” she says.

Registration is $30 and race day walk-up registrations will be accepted.


Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter .

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