WILMINGTON, Del.—The Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park, Delaware’s largest family picnic, returns June 28-29 with a fun-filled menu featuring America’s favorite dessert, ice cream.
At least eight dairies will be serving fresh ice cream treats all weekend and will participate in a mouth-watering competition to determine which one can create the “Best Sundae on Sunday.” A panel of chefs and food experts, with help from festival attendees, will choose the winner.
“The Ice Cream Festival is a great tradition at Rockwood and it offers an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful county park,” said New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon. “We believe as many as 80,000 people could attend as the word gets out that this festival has been restored.”
The County Government and Barry’s Events are cosponsoring the festival.
Festival organizer Barry Schlecker anticipates attendance this year to top turnout in 2012, when temperatures hit triple digits, and 2013, when a heavy storm forced an early closure on Sunday.
The heat and storms of past years are not holding back the dairies, restaurants, musicians and retailers appearing at this year’s festival.
The current festival lineup includes eight dairies, 25 restaurant and snack vendors, a beer garden, musicians performing at adult and children’s stages, a special section devoted to children’s games and activities, more than 20 crafters and at least 30 local businesses, as well as 15 nonprofit organizations.
“Families come early and tend to stay all day to take in all the activities,” Schlecker says. There’s plenty of room to relax at Rockwood, both under tents and under the park’s hundreds of trees, but “we encourage everyone to BYOB — bring your own blanket,” he adds.
Participating dairies and ice cream vendors include: Caffe Gelato, HyPoint, the Ice Cream Shop, Kilby Cream, Sweet Lucy’s, Tocumbo, UDairy Creamery and Vanderwende Farm Creamery.
Special entertainment includes an appearance by The Lone Ranger and his great horse Silver and performances by the Juggling Hoffmans, the Brandywine Traveling Zoo, Annie’s Menagerie, Mad Science and Jungle John.
The Wilmington School of Rock has arranged performances on the adult stage by: Club Phred, No Stringz Attached, Kitty Mayo, Alex & Keegan, Colvin Atiba Fields, Out of the Beard Space, Checkered Heroes, Remnants and Harry Spencer on Saturday, and the Durkan Brothers, Imagine, the School of Rock, This is Weird, Weekend Warriors and Kind of Creatures on Sunday.
Musicians performing on the children’s stage include: the Movement Workshop, the Radicans and Pegasus Artworks of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. Participatory drum circles will also be featured.
For a schedule of all performances and a full list of festival participants, go to rockwoodicecream.com.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 28, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 29. Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children under 12. Free shuttle bus service will be provided between Rockwood and parking lots at Merchants Square, Mount Pleasant High School and the Rockwood Office Park.