New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon and Barry’s Events invite you to circle June 25 and 26 on your calendar to spend a day at the New Castle County Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park, back this year with new attractions and even more of the region’s best ice cream.
The annual festival, produced by Barry’s Events and sponsored by New Castle County government, will feature at least 10 ice cream vendors, a scintillating selection of sandwiches and snacks, two entertainment stages and lots of fun for kids of all ages. In addition, members of the Philadelphia Union will provide an inflatable field and goal for kids to practice their skills on Sunday, and team members will greet festival guests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rockwood’s “Best Sundae on Sunday” competition, featured in 2014 on an episode of the Food Network’s “Eating America” series, will return, with the 2015 winner, the Ice Cream Shoppe, located on nearby Philadelphia Pike, and the 2014 champs, the “Moo Crew” from the University of Delaware’s UDairy Creamery, taking on up to eight other challengers in their bids for a second trophy.
The summer kickoff celebration, named by USA Today as one of the nation’s top ten food festivals, is “Delaware’s largest family picnic,” producer Barry Schlecker says, with free admission for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult, as well as family-friendly prices for all food, and activities to keep families at the park all day long.
“We are very pleased to hold this traditional event at one of our flagship parks each summer,” said Gordon, who will present the Executive’s Bowl to the Best Sundae winner. “We are proud of the nationally renowned Ice Cream Festival, which we believe will continue to grow.”
Participating dairies and ice cream vendors include: the Ice Cream Shoppe, UDairy Creamery, Sweet Lucy’s, Caffe Gelato, HyPoint Farms, Battiatto Farms Strawberry Milkshakes, Little Baby’s, Bassett’s Ice Cream, Thyme to Eat and Nellie’s Waffles and Ice Cream. Little Baby’s offers lactose-free ice creams.
In addition to the ice cream vendors, festival visitors will be able to choose from about 30 food and snack options – burgers, ribs, cheesesteak, seafood, Greek, Italian, Polish and vegetarian, plus water ice, doughnuts, cannolis and food trucks.
The festival’s Children’s Zone will have its own entertainment stage, face painting, plenty of interactive activities and games. Live animals, trapeze artists and a stilt walker will add to the fun all around the park.
The Music Meadow will be filled with diverse sounds, with a different group performing every hour – rock, jazz, folk, classical, something to please every musical taste.
Main Street Rockwood will feature more than two dozen local businesses, including crafters, artists and retailers. Another 40 or so businesses and nonprofit organizations will be sharing tent space.
Prime festival supporters include two media sponsors, 99.5 WJBR and the News Journal Media Group; G. Fedale Roofing and Siding, which is sponsoring a shade tent, and Concord Pet Foods & Supplies, the sponsor the doggie hydration station.
“Bring your own blanket and plan to stay all day long,” Schlecker says.
For a schedule of all performances and a list of festival participants, go to rockwoodicecream.com
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Admission is $5 for adults, with children 12 and under and accompanied by an adult admitted for free.
Free shuttle bus service will be provided between Rockwood and parking lots at Merchants Square, Mount Pleasant High School and the Rockwood Office Park. The festival is dog-friendly. Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome at the festival and on our shuttle buses.
For our Facebook photo galleries of today’s press conference please visit www.Facebook.com/nccde.
About Barry’s EventsBarry’s Events, founded by Wilmington entrepreneur Barry Schlecker, produces the WilmFilm movie “one-night stands”; the New Castle County Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood, held the last weekend in June; the Brandywine Festival of the Arts, held the weekend after Labor Day; and A Taste of the Holidays, held in December.