Firebird Festival Finds New Home

The ninth annual Burning of the Phoenix will be held at the site of the first.

Call it a homecoming.

After the groundbreaking of the new borough hall effectively evicted the from its old Bridge Street home, and then the next location the event’s organizers tabbed fell through, the firebird folks finally settled on a new space for the ninth annual Burning of the Phoenix: the site of the first.

On December 8, the Firebird Festival will be held on Main Street, right across from Mill Street, the event’s organizers decided. Firebird co-director Charles Segal says the location will provide more space for the fast-growing festival.

“We’re expecting, and this is just an estimate, upwards of 16,000 people,” Segal told Patch, adding that last year the event drew somewhere between 11,000 and 13,000. In the Firebird’s inaugural burning, just 800 attended.

Segal explained the festival’s location musical chairs as a “combination of factors.” He acknowledged the cost of insurance was a prime mover in the groups’ decision not to stick with the original site it chose (wedged between Main Street and the Gay Street bridge, north of French Creek), but said a host of other logistic concerns were at play too; including a planned landfill on the site.

“The timing was wrong,” said Segal. “Not enough time to get all those ducks in a row.”

Starting September 8, construction efforts on the site will begin. Though the builders usually don’t begin until October, Segal said this year they wanted to get an early jump on the roughly five-week long project.

And though the Firebird organizers already have a core group of builders in place, Segal said any volunteers with a familiarity with basic construction are invited to come and help.

Lynette Gray August 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM
I was concerned where it would move to with the construction. Thank yoy everyone for your efforts to ensure we continue to celebrate the rise of the Phoenix. And I can continue to walk my dogs past the location as they build, and watch the progress. That makes me happy.
Markels Roberts August 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Yay! The Firebird Festival lives!!!! What an astonishing, enchanting, renewing, awesome event it is. And only in Phoenixville. I too thank everyone involved. Markels Diving Cat Studio Gallery
. August 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I was hoping it would move to a location with more room and better parking but at least they found a way to keep in going. Plus I think this is the first positive post from Lynette so that has to count for something.
Garnet Newton August 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
A map would be nice
Tom Sunnergren (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM
It would be. We don't have one though. Here's where it is Dominic: if you're heading north on Main Street, and cross Bridge, it'll be on your right hand side right across from the Foundry. Hope that helps.
Mury Hallman August 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Looks like you should be planning a nation wide festival! Many people have had hard times in their life and many have risen to triumph. What an satisfying way to celebrate than fire! Yes, planning committee, plan for the FireBird Festival to grow every year. My suggestion? Look for more space! Quick!
. August 15, 2012 at 06:03 PM
My only "complaint" is that parking is a nightmare for this event. I agree regarding the need to address space is a concern but I guess that is a good thing that so many people want to come.
Ed Roper August 15, 2012 at 07:48 PM
There's simply no way to bring in 16,000 people and have everybody be happy with the parking situation. Personally I don't mind, because the cost of dealing with parking outweighs the awesome time I have at the festival. My suggestion to any residents is just stay home that day, and keep whatever parking spot you have, otherwise if you try to leave town and come back before the fest, you will be parking on the north side or something like I had to last year. But once again, totally worth it.
Laura Schwartz August 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Maybe we can all politely ask the folks at the Foundry to let people park in their lot for this event? After all, the people of Phoenixville did so much to enable them to have that land and space to offer their pricey parties. This is a very small tidbit they can offer the community in return for all their efforts in making the renovations a reality.
lisa c August 15, 2012 at 08:21 PM
parking is crazy, and thats an under statement! Saw 2 cars last yr. get hit on my street with assholes squeezing into a tiny spot, people just don't give a shit!
. August 15, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Good point. The worst part about the Phoenixville parking situation is that there is a ton of land that could be used for that purpose but it is either fenced off or "closed". In my opinion, parking is the #1 issue keeping Phoenixville from taking the next step and has actually cost them business. We met for lunch with some friends from out of town a month ago and they got a ticket even though he paid the meter (time just ran out so the meter "maid" must have been lurking around waiting for it to expire). The guy was so annoyed he vowed never to come back and said we should met in Oaks or Limerick next time. I'm sure this isn't the only case where this has happened.
john hahn August 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM
The vast Phoenix steel property would be excellent for parking.tons of unused space WASTED SPACE.this event is awesome.someone should realty study a solution for parking so people keep comeing back.
Ruth Miller August 21, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I have attended this event since it first started and it is amazing. We usually walk from Mont Clare and the walk over is easy; its that walk back over the bridge and up the hills that's a killer. Mainly because you have had your toes and fingers freeze waiting till the burning and then they thaw as it burns and then the walk home and their frozen again. But it is so worth it!!!! Don't miss it!
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