Ice Harvest Festival: The Region’s Coolest Tradition
Held each year on the first Saturday in February.
Save the Date: February 6, 2016, 10 am – 4 pm
Take part in a traditional ice harvest as you walk out on the frozen mill pond to help cut and maneuver blocks of ice using historic tools. The ice will be transported by sled and then packed in the Museum’s traditional ice house.
The Festival also includes a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, like ice fishing, ice sculpting and blacksmithing demonstrations, horse-drawn sleigh ride, a hot soup buffet featuring soup from local restaurants, bonfires, cooking demonstrations, local farmers and vendors, films of ice harvests in the 1920s-1940s, snowman village, and more.
It’s a wonderful day of hands-on history and winter fun.
Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months.
Children (12 and under) receive free admission. Museum members also receive free admission. (More information on admission and discounts.)
- Did you know? The ice we harvest will be used to make ice cream at the Hanford Mills Museum Independence Day Celebration.
This video by Delaware County Tourism show highlights from the 2013 Ice Harvest. Editing by Jessica Vecchione, owner of Vecc Videography in Hamden.
Hot Soup Buffet
Many thanks to the restaurants that donated soup for the Hot Soup Buffet:
- Alex and Ika
- Alfresco’s Italian Bistro
- The Andes Hotel
- Arkville Bread & Breakfast
- The Autumn Cafe
- Blue Bee Cafe
- Boudreaux N Thibodeaux’s
- Brooks House of BBQ
- Cafe Ommegang
- Cooperstown Diner
- Cross Roads Cafe & Coffee Bar
- Delhi Diner
- Doubleday Cafe
- Fiesta Mexican Grill and Cantina
- Jackie’s Restaurant
- Jay’s Place
- Junkyard Bakehaus
- Morey’s Family Restaurant
- The Otesaga Resort Hotel
- Phoenicia Diner
- Red Caboose Restaurant & Bar
- Simply Thai
- Sloan’s New York Grill
- SUNY Delhi Culinary Arts – Signatures Restaurant
- Undercover Eggplant
- Plus visitors enjoyed delicious cookies from Junkyard Bakehaus and fresh roasted peanuts from State Line Camping Center!
Ice Harvest in the News
- Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin article “Take Your Kids on a ‘Frozen’ Adventure” ran on February 1, 2015.
- The Daily Star (Oneonta) article on January 30, 2015 “Delhi Students to show off hand-hewn ice sculptures” talks about the ice carving demonstrations at the Ice Harvest Festival.
- The Wall Street Journal featured the Ice Harvest Festival in the December 13, 2014 article Snow Balls: Five Winter Festivals Worth the Trip.
- The Beekman Boys (Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge) came to the Ice Harvest in 2014, and wrote about it on their blog: A February Harvest
- Listen to Executive Director Liz Callahan’s 1/30/15 interview on WAMC’s The Roundtable.
- The 2013 Ice Harvest also was featured in the first episode of SUNY Oneonta’s Community Spotlight.
- Read about past Ice Harvests at Hanford Mills Museum, which have had more than 1,100 people attend, at All Over Albany, The Mountain Eagle, and The Daily Star.
- See photos from the 2014 Ice Harvest
“It’s such a slice of Americana. It’s why we love living up here. It’s a beautiful community event.”
-Teri Borst, who attended Ice Harvest in 2013