15 Mar, 2022
7 minutes

What Are Ice Fountains? How Do They Work?

Seeing an ice fountain for the first time in the wild is really exciting. Is this bottle of prosecco overflowing with sparkles? Is a birthday candle having a really good day? Ice fountains are a way to get your customers revved up and excited about your star menu items. As a bar or club owner, they’re your best friends.

The most important thing about using ice fountains is making sure your staff are fully trained on how to use them and what to do if something goes wrong. Find out how to use ice fountains and tips on safety and answers to ice fountain FAQs in our blog. In this article, we’ll cover exactly what an ice fountain is and how it works so you know what you’re handling in a busy venue.

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What is an ice fountain?

An ice fountain is a type of firework that is safe to use indoors. It consists of a hollow main tube made of stiff card about 4” in length and about ½” in girth. The tube is packed with combustible pyrotechnic powder and chemicals that produce a thick plume of silver-white sparks. The top of an ice fountain's combustible contents fits flush to the top of the cardboard tube so the firework does not need a fuse. The combustible material is set alight when the top is ignited.

The bottom of an indoor ice fountain is fixed into a plastic holder with a spiked mounting pin. This can be used to stake the ice fountain into a soft material. Ice fountains for cakes can be held in place by stabbing the plastic spike into the icing of the cake. If you want to attach your ice fountains to bottles, an ice fountain bottle holder is the safest way to do this.

Ice fountains wedding

The effect is similar to that of a sparkler. Ice fountains fireworks are shorter than standard sparklers but they are fatter and produce a much thicker, most substantial effect. If you want something more eye-catching and dramatic than a sparkler, an ice fountain is ideal.

Depending on what you have planned and the effect you want to produce you might not use just one ice fountain at a time. While cakes and small desserts could be overcrowded with multiple ice fountains, you might choose to add a couple more to champagne or prosecco bottles (our ice fountain holders can hold up to three at once). If you’re working with a large cake like a wedding cake or using ice fountains in a display, you might need to stock up on several packs.

We stock ice fountains in packs of different sizes to help businesses of all different kinds. From 4 packs of ice fountains UK customers buy for personal use to stocks of 1,920 for shops and performance venues.

You might think that ice fountains get their name because of the icy looking effects they produce. Actually, this is because they have cold fallout. This means that they do not produce hot sparks that will hurt if they fall on you.

This is great news for cakes that you stake ice fountains into as you don’t need to worry about melting any icing. Similarly, this means servers carrying objects with ice fountains attached to them won’t be burned by sparks.

Find a more detailed breakdown of ice fountains with diagrams on the UKFR website.

How does an ice fountain work?

Ice fountains cake

When an ice fountain firework is lit at the top the combustible powder that sits inside it is ignited in a matter of seconds. The effect that follows is a plume of silver-white flame and sparks up to 6” in height.

Any good ice fountain should give you a good few seconds of duration so that your servers have time to reach your guests' table with a dish or drink, bring out an enflamed bottle, or just so that everyone can get a good look and take some pictures. Our ice fountains have a hefty duration of 65 seconds giving you plenty of time to transport them, put on a little show, and let your customers fully enjoy the effect without anyone rushing.

Other Fireworks Like Ice Fountains

If you can’t use ice fountains or don’t want to there are a few firework alternatives that can get you a similar effect, although more subtle.


Indoor sparklers have been used in similar settings for a bit longer than ice fountains and produce a more small-scale effect. This might suit your venue or customers better in some cases. We recommend these sparklers:

  1. Extra-long wedding sparklers can be fixed to wedding arches or used in decor in a similar way to ice fountains. Long and elegant, they add a touch of class to any wedding.
  2. Loveheart sparklers are perfect for valentines, anniversaries, dates, or just showing the love. Present your guests with a cake or bottle topped with a fiery heart.
  3. Number sparklers can be used to give any birthday cake that extra personal touch. Choose from numbers 0–9 to celebrate any age.
  4. Mini cocktail sparklers are great for virtually any occasion and make a good alternative to mini ice fountains, add a minimal touch to delicate desserts and help your guests celebrate.

Confetti Cannons

Ice fountains party

These won’t give you the same fiery effect, but they make an excellent non-flaming spectacle addition to bars and clubs. Our gold confetti cannon is one of our most popular products and can be used to pump up party-goers, make dramatic announcements, and shower your venue in glitter.

If you’re a hospitality venue owner or manager looking for fresh ways to get your guests excited and boost your business’s reputation, ice fountains are just the trick. Read our article Who Can Use Ice Fountains? 4 Instagrammable Ideas for Businesses for the inside scoop and some genius ideas.

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