FARMINGTON — The Fire and Ice Festival returns to Farmington on Saturday, March 8.

The festival’s debut last year drew hundreds to town, where a variety of activities, topped off with fireworks over Prescott Field, wowed participants.

Once again, Front Street organizers have scheduled a snow tubing park, wagon rides, ice sculptures and dog sled rides throughout the day. Fireworks, sponsored by Kyes Insurance, take place at 6:20 p.m. over Prescott Field.

The purchase of a Festival Pass for $5 helps provide for the fireworks and entitles the bearer to some special activities, including a movie at Narrow Gauge Cinemas from March 8 to 13.

It also includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride, a scavenger hunt, a chance to build a snowman cookie, tickets to see “Frozen” and “The Lego Movie” at Narrow Gauge Cinemas and raffle tickets for prizes from several Front Street businesses.

Information and sale of Festival Passes will be from noon to 5 p.m. at the bottom of the Franklin Savings steps on Front Street.

Participants need to sign up for snowshoe races and dog sled rides around Prescott Field at the information booth. Spaces are limited for the rides.

Cabin fever and a tough economy were reasons for the start of the festival, John Moore of Narrow Gauge Cinemas and now Stone Hearth Cafe, said.

“This year has been incredibly difficult with high oil prices and cold weather,” Moore said. “I think it will be a nice outlet, a fun day out, if the weather cooperates.”

“It’s family oriented,” he added.

Most events are free, whether it’s finding your way through a hay maze, building a snowman, horse-drawn wagon rides along Front Street or sledding.

Snow tubing is offered by Franklin Savings Bank from 1 to 6 p.m. next to its Front Street steps.

An ice-carving demonstration is planned from 2 to 5 p.m. on the Stone Hearth Cafe patio and snowshoe races from 3 to 4 p.m.

A fire dance and fire-breathing show by Benjamin Reynolds begins at 6 p.m. at the Snack Shack next to Prescott Field.

“If he’s as good as he is on YouTube, it should be quite a show,” Moore said. 

Bonfires and s’mores are also available at the Snack Shack.

Business specials and a complete schedule of events is listed at www.farmingtonfireandicefestival.net.

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