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2020 Kipona: Food Trucks & Virtual Entertainment

Published: Aug 17, 2020
2020 Kipona

The City of Harrisburg’s 104th annual Kipona celebration will look a bit different this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this longstanding tradition has been modified to feature a hybrid of in-person (Saturday only) and virtual activities (all 3 days). The in-person activities will include 15 food trucks offering takeout from some of your festival favorites on Saturday, September 5 from 3-8pm on City Island followed by fireworks at 8:15pm. The virtual activities include an online marketplace, performance videos, kids activities and more. Participants will be able to support local artisans and small businesses by shopping handcrafted wares, specialty foods and other products.


Dough Head Waffles at Kipona

While the activities may look different, you can still find your favorite festival food! 15 food trucks will be serving tacos, cheesesteaks, empanadas, stuffed waffles and pretzels, wok fried noodles, crab cakes, crepes, fried chicken and more. Festival favorites such as funnel cakes, fried oreos, burgers, sausages and Farm Show Milkshakes will also be available.

There will be cones spaced 6-ft apart in the food truck lines. Please stand at these cones while waiting in line to maintain social distancing. A face mask and/or shield is required to enter the food truck area and while waiting in line for the respect and safety of those around you. Hand washing stations will be available for attendees to use after receiving their food orders, but we also encourage you to bring your own hand sanitizer to use often.

Chef De Crepe at KiponaTake the food home to enjoy or spread out along Riverfront park or City Island with a socially distanced picnic. No seating will be provided in an effort to limit contact. Plan to bring your own chairs and blankets.

City Island Water Golf will be open from 10am-10pm and the City Island Railroad Station will be open from 12-8pm on Saturday and 12pm -7pm on Sunday and Monday.



End the day by watching one of the largest fireworks displays in Central PA. The fireworks will be launched from the northern tip of City Island on Saturday, September 5 at 8:15pm and can be viewed from miles of space along Riverfront Park and the lower riverwalk. The fireworks can also be seen from Reservoir Park at the top of the hill near the Civil War Museum. Wherever you decide to watch from, remember to maintain 6-ft social distancing from others and avoid gathering in large groups.

The fireworks show will also be live streamed to the Facebook event.



If you are planning to participate in any of the in-person activities, read these five tips before you leave the house.

  1. Look at the foodie guide prior to entering the food truck area so you know what you want and which line you will enter upon arrival.  The foodie guide can be viewed online at http://harrisburgpa.gov/Kipona. If you plan to order food from more than one truck, make a plan to have different members of your party order from each truck you would like to try to save time. You will be required to exit after ordering from each food truck to eliminate crossover foot traffic.
  2. Bring a face mask and/or shield – it is required for anyone over age 2 to enter the food truck area.
  3. If you are planning to eat your food on-site, bring your own chairs and blankets to sit on. There is a ton of grassy space to enjoy a social distanced picnic on City Island and Riverfront Park.
  4. Use a credit card whenever possible to limit contact.
  5. Street parking is free after 5pm from Chestnut to State Streets and all other street parking is free after 7pm. Parking on City Island is $5 and SP+ is also offering the discounted rate of $10 from 10am-10pm at the Market Square Garage.

Kipona 2020 Map



There will be activities for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own home and participants can customize their experience with the following options:

  • Virtual festival experience – Follow the Facebook event on Sept. 5th-7th for a full virtual festival experience with specific dates and times for each activity and performance. Please see the digital program guide for scheduled dates and times for experiences.
  • Flexible festival experience – Do you need more flexibility or wish to enjoy all of the activities at once? Visit the website for all of the performances, activities and online marketplace available at your convenience when the timing is right for you. (The online marketplace will go live on Saturday, September 5th)

Kipona ArtistsAn online marketplace will be available to browse and shop the handcrafted wares of artisans, specialty foods and other products. Throughout the festival, several artists will offer demonstrations sharing the process of how they create their pieces.

Kids activities will include:

  • Gamut Theatre will offer a sing along performance, make your own wand activity and the Popcorn Hat Players Sleeping Beauty.
  • The Whitaker Center will offer a fireworks in a jar activity.
  • Challenge Island will provide a magnus spinner activity.
  • The annual Rubber Duck Race will be held virtually on Sunday, September 6 and ducks can be purchased here.

A complete list of virtual activities is available at http://harrisburgpa.gov/Kipona. The City of Harrisburg looks forward to welcoming visitors, vendors and the community back to Riverfront Park for Kipona 2021 on September 4-6, 2021.

Author: Megan Roby

Director of Special Events, City of Harrisburg