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The annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival offers a frozen treat fest

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Clevelanders are fortunate to have Pierre's, a company producing locally made quality ice cream but if you are an ice cream enthusiast who just can't get enough of the frozen concoction then you don't want to miss the 40th annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival (featuring Velvet Ice Cream) being held at Ye Olde Mill in Utica, Ohio over Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 24, Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26). It is approximately a 2 hour drive from Cleveland.

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Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival A family-owned and operated business for 100 years run by four generations of the Dager family, the Velvet Ice Cream Company produces five million gallons of ice cream per year.

The company headquarters is housed on 20 acres of park-like land at Ye Olde Mill, an old gristmill built in 1817. The Velvet Ice Cream Company attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year. The company produces more than 500 flavors of ice cream. The number one flavor continues to be Old Tyme Vanilla.

At the Festival, over 90 artisans from Ohio and other states will be on hand to exhibit their handcrafted items. Other activities include an ice cream eating contest (of course!), a car show, a motorcycle show, a magic show, pony ridres, wheelbarrow races, plank races and a seed spitting contest.

There will also be an egg toss, a water balloon toss, a display of antique engines and kiddie tractor pulls (on Sunday). And you don't want to miss the show from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Free live entertainment will be provided by various bands including Sugar Creek Bluegrass, Just Us Band, the Phillip Fox Band and Glen Parks Banjo Entertainment.

On the grounds of Ye Olde Mill there is a general store, an Ice Cream Tent (How many flavors can you try?), a Ham and Bean Tent and a bratwurst stand. Guests can also visit the state's only ice cream museum, a visitors center, a gift shop and a playground.

A highlight on Saturday is the Grand Parade at 11 a.m. in the village of Utica. The parade will be followed by the crowning of the Festival Queen on the stage at the Festival grounds.

Of course, there will be lots and lots of ice cream to choose from. During the three day Festival, Velvet serves more than 75,000 scoops of ice cream.

Hours for the Ice Cream Festival are 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Monday (Memorial Day). Admission is $5 per car. Shuttle service is available from the parking lot to the main entrance.

For more information about the Velvet Ice Cream Company, Ye Olde Mill or the Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival call 740-892-3921 or get online at www.sertomaicecreamfestival.com.

The Velvet Ice Cream Company (Ye Olde Mill) is located at 11324 Mt. Vernon Rd. in Utica, Ohio. Utica is 115 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 2 hour drive (down I-71 to Route 13).

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