Fireworks originally planned for the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Pagoda will be part of Reading Fire + Ice Fest’s opening night festivities on Friday, Jan. 18. The fireworks were canceled because of inclement weather.
“When we were approached by Bill Koch Sr. of Berks Festivals Inc. to include the fireworks with Reading Fire + Ice Fest, we didn’t hesitate for a second,” said Charles R. Broad, Executive Director of the Improvement District. “What better way to usher in our fifth annual festival than to add a major touch of ‘fire’ to the event?!”
Koch noted that the fireworks display above Mt. Penn on New Year’s Eve has been a tradition for the past 21 years, and that Fire + Ice Fest was a perfect way to extend that tradition, albeit a few weeks later than usual. The fireworks, which will light up the nighttime sky above the Pagoda, are being presented by Berks Festivals Inc., and sponsored by the City of Reading; Foundation for the Reading Pagoda; Tompkins VIST Bank; UGI HVAC; William G. Koch & Associates, CPAs; Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys; DoubleTree by Hilton Reading; Penn National Gaming; White Star Tours; and Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. The show is staged by International Fireworks of Douglassville.
“People from throughout Berks County and beyond have enjoyed the colorful pyrotechnics display we’ve had year after year at the Pagoda, and we hope those who attend Reading Fire + Ice Fest will be just as delighted,” Koch said.
Reading Fire + Ice Fest will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 18, and the fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m., weather permitting. The Pagoda will be open from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday and have refreshments available but no live music. If the fireworks are postponed until Saturday, the Pagoda will be open that night at the same time.
The wintertime festival will once again feature a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities, including a Snowfall Ball, professional ice-carving competitions, fire performances, a chili cook-off, a large food and beverage tent, live music, and food trucks. All outdoor activities will be free, and the chili cook-off and Snowfall Ball will have nominal entry fees.
Scheduled to perform at the Snowfall Ball on Saturday, January 19 is The Uptown Band, one of the country's most versatile acts that feature an exciting and eclectic mix of music. The “casual dress” ball will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading hotel ballroom. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Sculpted Ice Works, located near Scranton, Pa., will rejoin Reading Fire + Ice Fest with spectacular ice sculpture displays and carving competitions. Established in 1999, Sculpted Ice Works is a full-service ice event company with several members of the National Ice Carving Association, and is owned by Mark Crouthamel, a carver with more than 20 years of experience under his belt.
Returning again to thrill audiences with their heart-stopping fire performances will be Madeleine Belle from Philadelphia and Flame Nouveau from Allentown.
Reading Fire + Ice Fest is organized and presented by the Reading Downtown Improvement District and supported in large part by a generous grant from the Hawley and Myrtle Quier Fund of Berks County Community Foundation.