NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 7, 2014

Shake off the winter blues at the Portsmouth Fire & Ice Festival

With the holidays long gone and spring still far away, February can feel like a bleak month.

However, a new event in Portsmouth, N.H., promises to infuse some fun into the middle of the month. The Fire & Ice Festival, set for Feb. 13-17, will deliver dog sleds, outdoor bars and top-notch entertainment to the community.

The citywide event will build on a similar festival that Portsmouth Gas Light Co. has hosted for the past three years. This year, the weekend will be organized by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and will incorporate family-friendly activities during the day in addition to the evening schedule.

“The first annual Portsmouth Fire & Ice Festival is a direct outgrowth of the collaborative brainstorming that took place among the businesses who rely on the tourism dollars that contribute so much to the community,” said Valerie Rochon, tourism manager for the Chamber of Commerce. “Fire & Ice builds on events that were already happening in the city to give couples and families an additional reason to make Portsmouth their Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend holiday getaway.”

Portsmouth Gas Light Co.’s Ice Fest runs Friday through Sunday evenings, with three ice bars, fire pits, ice luges, wood fire-grilled food and ice sculptures.

Strawbery Banke Museum will host a hearth-cooking workshop and dinner on Friday, Winter Night in Pitt Tavern on Saturday and dog sled rides on Sunday.

New Hampshire Public Television will screen films at Seacoast Repertory Theatre selected to promote their group tour to Iceland in June with Willem Lange. The Players’ Ring will showcase performances by Patrick Dorow Productions. And the Discover Portsmouth Center continues its “Flowers of Winter” exhibit with a special program at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Schedule

Thursday, Feb. 13

The Port Inn Opening Night Party, 5 to 7 p.m., 505 U.S. 1 Bypass. Debut of renovated lobby and guest room designs; fire pit and ice sculptures outside.

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