The Ice Harvest Festival Returns!

UPDATE 2/4/2022: Due to the impacts of a winter ice storm, this event is cancelled for 2022. We hope to see you at Hanford Mills Museum for the Ice Harvest Festival 2023.

One of the region’s most celebrated winter events, Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum, will return on Saturday, February 5th as an in-person event after a hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.

Pending ice conditions, visitors can participate in a traditional ice harvest, just like farming communities did a century ago.

photo courtesy of Hanford Mills Museum

While the range of activities offered at the Ice Harvest have changed over the years, the core reason for the event is the same: connecting visitors to the rural history of the region by holding an ice harvest. There are a few changes for the event this year.

Here are some of the things that will be different at this year’s festival:

• Because of the COVID pandemic, there will not have a Hot Soup Buffet or any other food concessions, but complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and tea will be available.

• Per New York State, everyone will wear masks while indoors, inside tents, or when social distancing is not possible.

• For safety reasons, visitors may not take photos while standing on the ice.

• As in 2020, there will not be horse-drawn sleigh rides because there is not enough room to accommodate them with so many people on site.

• There will not be ice fishing, but there is hope to have the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited back next year.

• On the porch of the Hanford House, you can learn about iceboxes and how ice was used in homes before mechanical refrigeration.

photo courtesy of Hanford Mills Museum

Otherwise, visitors should find that this year’s celebration to be very similar to those that they’ve enjoyed in the past.

• The SUNY Delhi Hospitality Center Ice Team will be creating amazing ice sculptures.

• Local exhibitors will include Catskill Forest Association, Intelligent Green Solutions, Cooperstown Distillery, Catharina’s Hats and Mittens, Byebrook Farm, Watershed Agricultural Council and My Woodlot.

• As in 2020, there will be a large heated tent on site and you can warm up by fire pits onsite.

• There will be blacksmiths demonstrating their trade.

• Ice cleats will be available so that visitors can borrow to walk on the frozen pond.

The Ice Harvest Festival runs all day Saturday, February 5 from from 10am to 3pm. Free admission for all kids 12 and under, Museum Members, and EBT cardholders. Discounts also available to zip codes near Hanford Mills, teachers, first responders, and members of the military.

Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Highway 12, East Meredith, NY 13757. For more details, visit the Hanford Mills Museum website.

See you at the festival!