Free Family Fun Returns with Fire & Ice on Jan. 26 with Fireworks and Carnival Rides

Fire & Ice presented by GEICO Careers is North Liberty Beat the Bitter’s free family day and it’s all about the fire and the ice. For this year, Fire & Ice is moving to the weekend and is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, from 3 to 7 p.m. in Penn Meadows Park, located at 170 N. Dubuque Street.

New to the Fire & Ice lineup are carnival rides. A handful of the attractions typically seen at county fairs in the heat of summer will be found on Penn Meadows’ frozen fields. Children and adults can enjoy free spins in teacup carts, rides on large-scale swings, sway against gravity and take a trip on the park’s trail in a trackless train.

Fire & Ice attendees can also expect the return of horse-drawn trolley rides, ice and wood carvings, fire performances, picture opportunities and marshmallow roasting around a community bonfire. The Penn Meadows Ice Rink, seasonally installed on the park’s tennis courts, will be open for ice skating, with figure and hockey skates available for checkout. And to end the evening, in what has become a tradition for North Liberty, a 15-minute winter firework display will launch at 7 p.m. View the full schedule at

Taking place immediately before the Fire & Ice events on Jan. 26, Beat the Bitter’s annual 5K-ish Obstacle Run will challenge participants to obstacles around the perimeter of Penn Meadows Park. Registration is $15 and includes a finisher medal. Additional Winter Games presented by Scheels which include kickball, curling and broomball tournaments will take place the following weekend on Feb. 1. Registration is limited and available at

Some of Beat the Bitter’s fun is reserved just for adults. While the popular Snuggie Crawl sold out in record time, limited tickets remain for the Igloo Jam presented by GreenState Credit Union. Iowa’s hottest party band, The Pork Tornadoes, will provide the hits for the concert at South Slope Community Center. Tickets are $25, restricted to those 21 years and older and include a drink for each attendee.

Bonus affiliated events hosted by local organizations and businesses round out the week and offer opportunities for all ages. Free and registered activities include a polar plunge, dive-in movie, scuba and snorkeling classes, speakers, arts and crafts events, a chili supper and more. Explore and filter the full schedule based on age and event type at

Beat the Bitter an annual winter festival in North Liberty designed to get folks out of the house and embrace winter. The event is organized by the North Liberty Community Betterment Group, a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Special thanks to GEICO Careers, Collins Community Credit Union, Scheels, GreenState Credit Union, Hills Bank, Think Iowa City, Diventures, South Slope Cooperative Communications, Junge Ford BMW of North Liberty, Hy-Vee, Anne Aguirre Realtor, Ashley Bermel Realtor, Unique Events, Z102.9, BDL Transportation and the City of North Liberty for their generous support.