The region’s coolest Tradition
Before there was refrigeration, ice was harvested to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. At the Ice Harvest Festival, which is held on the first Saturday in February, we recreate this rural winter tradition.
Visitors can walk out on the frozen mill pond and help cut blocks of ice using vintage ice saws. The ice will then be hauled by a horse-drawn sled, and packed in a traditional ice house. The ice harvested at the event will be used to make ice cream at the Hanford Mills Museum Independence Day Celebration. The Festival also features kids’ activities, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a hot soup buffet, local farmers and vendors, and bonfires. It’s a great day of winter fun. Join us February 1, 2014.
Thanks to Delaware County Tourism for use of the video. Editing by Jessica Vecchione, owner of Vecc Videography in Hamden.
Ice Harvest was also featured in the first episode of SUNY Oneonta’s Community Spotlight.
The 2013 Ice Harvest Festival featured:
- horse-drawn sleigh rides,
- outdoor kids’ activities led by Oneonta World of Learning,
- ice fishing demonstrations by the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited (several fish were caught),
- films showing ice harvests in the 1930s,
- traditional candy-making in the Hanford House,
- a hot soup buffet, where you can purchase delicious soups provided by area restaurants,
- vendors offering hamburgers and fries (Eagle Ridge BBQ), cheese (Byebrook Farm), baked goods (Junkyard Bakehaus) and fresh roasted peanuts (State Line Camping Center) as well as hand-knit hats and mittens (Promisedland Farm) and books (Hobart Book Village),
- the opening of the new exhibit “My Hometown,” which features photographs taken by students in the Creating Rural Opportunities Program (CROP) at Cooperstown and Morris Central Schools,
- atlatl throwing with Native American interpreter Barry Keegan.
Hot Soup Buffet
The Hot Soup Buffet is a favorite way for visitors to warm up during Ice Harvest. Soup is donated by area restaurants to benefit the Museum. Restaurants include: Alex & Ika’s, Alfresco’s Italian Bistro, Applebee’s, Autumn Cafe, Blue Bee Cafe, Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q, Cafe Ommegang, Cross Roads Cafe, Delhi Diner, Denny’s, Depot Restaurant & Tavern, Fiesta Mexican Grill, Humphrey’s, Jackie’s Restaurant, Jay’s Place, Morey’s Family Restaurant, Neptune Diner, Oneonta Bagel Company, Simply Thai, Soda Jerks, Undercover Eggplant and the Yellow Deli.
The Daily Star ran a front-page story 1/17/13 “Ice Harvest Offers Time to Chill Out.”