Firebird Festival Primer: What You Need to Know

A rundown of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the ninth annual burning of the bird.

The ninth annual Firebird Festival will be held on Saturday at the event’s new (old) 3 North Main Street site. While the burning of the bird kicks off at 8 p.m., below is all the information you need to know—from parking to performers—to make this year’s event great.

So, What’s Happening?

A host of Phoenixville businesses will be participating in the Firebird Festival with their own Phoenix-oriented events.  Steel City, the Phoenix Village Art Center, Skylight Coworking, Phoenix Karate Center, Diving Cat Studio, Soltane Breads and Spreads, A Warming Center, Colonial Theatre, and Steel Eagle Antiques each have events scheduled starting in the afternoon and stretching up to the moment they light the thing. Check out the festival’s website here for a full list of Phoenix festivities.

Where Can I Park?

Parking will be tough this year, the event’s organizers admit. The typically huge crowd, compounded by the fact that the burning itself will take place in the downtown’s largest parking area, will leave spaces especially scant. Here’s what the organizers are recommending: take advantage of public transportation. You can park by the Kmart on 23 and take the 139 bus—an eight minute ride—or in the Providence Town Center on 29 by 422 and take the 99 bus for the last ten minutes of the trip. Here is a link to the germane bus schedules.

I’ll Be Taking Lots of Pictures. Where Can I Share Them?


Where is it Again?

The actual ‘Burning of the Phoenix’ will be held at the site of the initial festival; 3 North Main Street, right across from the Foundry building.

Should I Have a Great Time?


1 December 07, 2012 at 08:35 PM
While I hope this thing does well and brings some revenue to local business, I can see it becoming a complete mess due to the lack of parking. My family stopped going to it years ago due to it being such an unorganized mob scene and now with them using one of the biggest parking lots as a burn site, it will be even worse. Kind of reminds me of the Restaurant Festival in West Chester. It use to be a cool event but once word started to spread it became so crowded you couldn't even move (at least West Chester has parking garages though). Now the locals flee West Chester that day while the "tourist" clog the streets waiting in line for hours to get the same food they could the next night in a few minutes. I never got why people would spend so much time building something just to burn it but hey, what ever floats your boat I guess. Have a nice weekend...
Jaxxon December 07, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I hate to ask the obvious, but on what date is it happening?
LocalGirl December 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Jaxxson, it's tomorrow, Dec. 8th.
LocalGirl December 07, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Sorry, I meant Jaxxon! And good question...
Kaelsma December 07, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Next year, the organizers should look into offering a shuttle (for a small fee) from the K-Mart parking lot. I don't mind parking out there but I don't want to have to take public transportation into town and I'll bet that's a deterrent for a lot of other people too.
nameless citizen December 08, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Who is the rocket scientist who came up with this lunacy? Take puplic transportation? This so typical of Phoenixville events, poorly planned, poorly executed and laughably amatuer. I can't believe the issue of parking did not come up when this was in the planning stages. No wonder Phoenixville is a laughing stock.
Mr. Ed December 08, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Parking in my driveway is available. Only $50.00 from 6pm to 10pm. And only 5 blocks from the festivities. Easy walking distance. Two spaces available. Act Now! Don't miss this once a year event.
Ray December 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Phoenixville makes you take the horrid public transportation as a way to prevent portentous snobs from overrunning the town. How dare a town expect you to take a septa bus, and share it with poor people, the outrage.
George Hughes December 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
# 1 , did anyone associated with this event get permission from K Mart to offer their lot for public parking . My guess is probably not . #2 if you live anywhere within a 100 mile radiologyius ofn.Phoenixville if you have to go out Saturday make sure yoi
Yvonne December 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Dear nameless, My guess is that you never attend public meetings in P'ville. Otherwise you would know that the parking issues come up all the time. What would your solution be?
Abby December 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
It's a great festival and if you don't agree, stay home. Parking isn't even close to being the problem it is in manayunk or old city, but the suburban yuppies don't think their fat butts should have to walk anywhere. Stay in your McMansion and we'll all be happy.
George Hughes December 08, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Yvonne , my solution would be to not allow to take place in the first place . What a waste of taxpayer money for police overtime , not to mention the cost for the streets dept . If they want to spend money on something useful , spend it on something to benefit everyone in town like keeping another fire station open in town .
MPorchik December 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Why stop there George, let's outlaw parades, and any other group festivals. Blobfest will no longer be held in Phoenixville, cancel First Friday festivities, the list can go on and on... The other option is, if the Firebird Festival doesn't interest you, don't go.
Steve Powers December 09, 2012 at 04:54 AM
If you come from outside walking distance, get into town by 6:30. You will have to park many blocks away. If anyone was in or came through this town in the 80's and 90's would know what a ghost town it was. Never go back to that. Look at what great towns Media and West Chester have become. We need more events and businesses to continue growing this great town.
Russell G. Jacquay December 09, 2012 at 10:36 AM
There were people in town from at least 2 other states last night at the festival. I don't think we are a laughing stock. I think Phoenixville is becoming a destination- with a few growing pains, but we can work out the details. Let's just keep having fun and enjoy that we don't live in a place people avoid.
Dave F December 09, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Russell, make no mistake about it, we are a destination town. Don't listen to the bozo's that post on this site that talk crap on Phoenixville. We can't help them. It's just a shame that some people that actually live in P'ville don't enjoy all of the great events we host. This boro is one of the best little places to live in every sense of the word. What a great event. Thanks to all who make it happen.
1 December 09, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Phoenixville is far from a "laughing stock" but to call it a "destination" is going a little too far the other way. Phoenixville is a weekend party town, which is a lot better than being a town full of empty store fronts, dive bars, toothless hoes and crack heads, which it was during the 80s and 90. The firebird event is cool but it simply isn't managed very well which is why it turns into a crowded mess every year. Hopefully they will continue to learn from their mistakes and improve the logistics going forward but blind hate and/or blind cheerleading (especially coming from a guy who moved his store OUT OF TOWN because you can't generate enough traffic during the week to make it in retail in Phoenxiville) doesn't help anyone. Have a nice evening.
Peter C. Brown December 09, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Phoenixville is a work in progress. But, the people are coming back and patronizing our restaurants, businesses, library, non-profits, and other sites. Hopefully, the parking will improve, along with everything else. Please pass along your positive suggestions, and stay tuned. There is more to come! Phoenixville has so much to offer and is a wonderful place to live, work, and play!
Steve December 09, 2012 at 11:34 PM
We agree with all the positive posts about our town. It was 1971 when we moved in, and the only things downtown were Columbia Hotel and the Steel Site. We have the best of towns, and the parking problem will be worked out. West Chester is a MESS with crowds too, and they even have the parking garages. Look at all the restaurants we have now, and many more. Sorry the Firebird did not go well but we will get there Steve
Michael Hill December 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
To all you whiners who complain about the event, maybe if you would stop complaining and volunteer to help organize the event, your comments would be valid- but to sit back and criticize after the fact is ridiculous. This event was very well organized and well attended. Maybe I would respect your opinions more if you were to use your own name instead of using a pseudo name.
Dave F December 10, 2012 at 02:20 AM
You're a funny girl 1.
Dave F December 10, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Ed Roper December 10, 2012 at 03:43 AM
People love to sit on the sidelines and talk 'ish about things they don't even try to fix. The firebird festival is an all volunteer organization. Think it can be done better? Get off your butt and go volunteer. Think the festival is a waste of time? Go out of town that weekend then. Me, thousands of my neighbors, and a couple thousand out of towners think its one of the best things in Phoenixville. Maybe next year we can throw all the complainers in the fire...
1 December 10, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Yeah Ed, that will solve the parking and logistcal issues....Like I said, blind cheerlead ing will get us where. Anyone who can't admit that the set up, parking, and logistics at this event are a clisterfu@k at best is simply not being honest. I for one root for it to do well even if I have decided not to attend because it is such a mess. I'm simply keeping it real. Good luck to you?
1 December 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM
What is so funny Dave? Did you or did you not move your business out of town? That is fine and nobody blames you for trying to keep your business going by moving to a better location where there is some retail foot traffic but for you to lecture the rest of us after you packed up your business and left is a bit hypocrital don't you think?
Ed Roper December 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM
You entirely missed my point.
1 December 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM
You stated "Maybe next year we can throw all the complainers in the fire..." How does one "miss" that point?
Ed Roper December 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Last I checked David still is a homeowner in Phoenixville, and has every right to comment, or "lecture" as you say, about this issue...


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