Preparations for February’s Fire in Ice festival are being made, but whether one of downtown Frederick’s biggest events of the year will go on remains to be seen.
The city’s aldermen approved a request Thursday from the Downtown Frederick Partnership to serve beer, wine and alcohol at the outdoor beer garden for the First Saturday Fire in Ice scheduled for Feb. 6.
But with the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in February still uncertain, the permitting process was just a preliminary step to allow flexibility in planning the event.
“We are leaving all of our options open,” said Kara Norman, executive director for the Downtown Frederick Partnership.
She doesn’t expect a final decision on the festival’s status until after the new year.
The aldermen also approved a request from the Partnership to serve beer and wine at 21 Alive @ Five events in Carroll Creek Park Amphitheater on Thursdays from May to September.
But those events are also tentative, Norman said.
Much of the planning for Fire in Ice will depend on the public health restrictions in place at the time, Norman said.
But there’s no way that the festival will be everything people are used to, when the streets of Frederick are filled with shoppers, ice sculptures, fire breathers and other events and displays.
Norman said last year’s event drew about 25,000 people.
“That doesn’t make sense in a pandemic,” she said.