The Ultimate Guide to the Utica Ice Cream Festival 2023

The Utica Ice Cream Festival has been a cherished tradition for over four decades in Mount Vernon, Ohio. This beloved event not only celebrates the joy of ice cream but also serves a greater purpose – supporting the community. If you’re planning a visit to Ohio or you’re a local looking forward to next year’s festival, this guide is for you. Get ready for a weekend filled with delicious ice cream, exciting vendors, and a range of activities for everyone to enjoy!

What is the Utica Ice Cream Festival?

The Utica Ice Cream Festival is an annual event that began 46 years ago as a small fundraiser organized by The Sertoma Club in Utica. The festival benefits The Sertoma Club, which uses the funds to provide essential services to the community, such as hearing aids and school scholarships. What was initially expected to be a short-lived event has grown into a beloved tradition that attracts visitors from far and wide.

Today, the festival is organized by The Sertoma Club and volunteers, in partnership with Velvet Ice Cream, a local ice cream vendor with a century-old history. Velvet Ice Cream not only supplies the delicious frozen treats but has also become a beloved presence within the community. Every Memorial Day weekend, Velvet Ice Cream and The Sertoma Club join forces to create an unforgettable experience filled with fun activities and mouthwatering treats.

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Utica Ice Cream Festival Basic Information

If you’re planning to attend the Utica Ice Cream Festival, here’s all the essential information you need:

Date of Festival:

  • May 27 – May 29
  • Saturday: 9am – 7pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 7pm
  • Monday: 10am – 6pm

Festival Start Time:
The festival kicks off with a parade on Saturday, usually starting at 11am from Utica High School.

Location of Festival:
11339 Mt. Vernon Rd. Utica, OH

Cost of Festival:
There is a $5 parking fee, which includes admission to the festival.

Expected Events

Throughout the Utica Ice Cream Festival weekend, there are plenty of activities and entertainment options for the whole family. In addition to indulging in different flavors of ice cream and enjoying live music, the festival features over 50 artisan shops and vendors offering unique items and delicious food. Here are some of the events you can look forward to:

Saturday, May 27th

  • Parade
  • Arts and crafts
  • Glenn Parks Banjo Entertainment
  • Magic shows
  • Sack races
  • Wheelbarrow races
  • Water balloon toss
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium show
  • Men and women baseball games
  • Ice cream eating contest
  • Plank race
  • Egg toss
  • Six Miles to Nellie Music Entertainment

Sunday, May 28th

  • Arts and crafts
  • Church services
  • Kiddie tractor pulls
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Show
  • Magic shows
  • Bryan Lewis Music Entertainment
  • Plank races
  • Ice cream eating contest

Monday, May 29th

  • Magic shows
  • Matt Simmons Band Music Entertainment
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sack race
  • Three-legged race
  • Egg toss
  • Seed spitting contest
  • Plank race
  • Water balloon toss
  • Ice cream eating contest

For a complete list of activities and events, along with their schedules and locations, visit the official Utica Ice Cream Festival website.

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Other Things to Do When You Visit the Utica Ice Cream Festival

The Utica Ice Cream Festival is not just about ice cream; it offers a multitude of experiences beyond the festival grounds. If you’re traveling from out of town, take the opportunity to explore the area. Here are a few suggestions for how to make the most of your visit:

Branstool Orchards

Located in Utica, Branstool Orchards is a fantastic place to spend time with your loved ones. Explore their grounds, enjoy the picturesque scenery, and if you’re up for it, pick your own peaches, apples, and flowers to take home. Don’t forget to visit the on-site farmers market, where you can support local vendors and purchase fresh produce.

Three Oaks Vineyard

Just a short drive from Utica, Three Oaks Vineyard is a must-visit destination for wine lovers. Sample a wide variety of wines, take a leisurely stroll around the property, or relax on the outdoor patio area. You might even catch live music performances and find food trucks on-site (weather permitting). For a more intimate experience, you can personally meet the owners and learn about their passion for winemaking.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

If you’re traveling to Utica for the festival and want to add some animal encounters to your itinerary, a visit to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a must. This esteemed zoo not only boasts a wide variety of animals and habitats to explore but also offers kid-friendly activities, interactive shows, and even an attached waterpark, Zoombezi Bay. It’s a perfect day trip for the whole family.

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Legoland Discovery Center

For those who are young at heart or traveling with kids, a visit to the Legoland Discovery Center in Columbus is an absolute delight. Immerse yourself in the world of Legos, seek advice from master Lego builders, and browse unique Lego sets. The center also features themed rides, building areas, and a chance to unleash your creativity. Prepare to feel like a kid again!

Places to Stay While in Town

If you’re coming from out of town, finding suitable lodging is essential. Here are a few well-reviewed options to consider:

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel

Located in a tranquil area of Mount Vernon, The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel offers a luxurious and relaxing stay. Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, access to a gym, and inclusive parking. For a conveniently located hotel near the festival grounds, The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel is an excellent choice.

Embassy Suites by Hilton

If you’re flying into Ohio or planning to explore beyond the festival, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Columbus is a perfect option. Close to the airport and centrally located in Columbus, this hotel offers shuttle service and easy access to various attractions, including the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. It’s an ideal base for exploring the area.

Best Western Lakewood Inn

Located just 30 minutes from Utica, the Best Western Lakewood Inn offers comfortable and affordable accommodations. Enjoy all the amenities of a five-star hotel at a fraction of the cost. It’s a great option for visitors traveling to the festival from out of town.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Utica Ice Cream Festival is an event you don’t want to miss. Beyond the indulgent ice cream, the festival provides a weekend filled with entertainment and activities for all ages. So gather your loved ones and head over to the Utica Ice Cream Festival, where you’ll create memories to last a lifetime!

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Visit the Utica Ice Cream Festival and make all your ice cream dreams come true!

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