Delaware ice cream festival returns this weekend

Tents and vendors are taking over Rockwood Park, ahead of Delaware’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival this weekend.

But organizers say the family-friendly event will offer a lot more than just the sweet, frozen treat.  

“The whole idea is to get people here between 10 and 11 on Saturday, keep ’em here all day,” said festival organizer Barry Schlecker. “We have coffee in the morning, we have all kinds of food in the afternoon, we have music and tons of children’s activities.”

With 150 local vendors and restaurants signed on, two concert stages for Delaware’s emerging musicians, and beer and wine tents, Schlecker says the festival’s mantra is “eat, play, shop and listen.”

“We want to make this Delaware’s largest family picnic. We want something for everyone.”

This weekend marks the return of the ice cream festival, a 28-year tradition New Castle County ended five years ago because of funding issues. Now Schlecker, who’s produced several other big events, is feeling a little pressure.

“The pressure is to do it well,” Schlecker said. “I hope we’re so crowded that we’re overwhelmed – that would be a great problem.”

Schlecker hopes 10-thousand festival-goers will turn out each day, convincing county officials to continue the two-day tradition next year.

The Rockwood Museum will be open for tours, four-legged friends from the Brandywine Zoo are expected and big trucks and hot rods will also be on display. 

Schlecker also reminds festival-goers to BYOB, which in this case is short for Bring Your Own Blanket. And while the ice cream festival falls the weekend after the Fourth of July, Schlecker says, there will not be a fireworks show.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. Saturday, there’s an early bird two-for-one adult admission special between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

FYI – there will be no parking at Rockwood Park. In addition to street parking on Washington Street Extension, shuttle buses will run all day to and from the festival from Merchant’s Square (4300 Governor Printz Blvd.), Mt Pleasant High School (5201 Washington St. Ext.) and Rockwood Office Park (503 Carr Road).

See the parking options denoted by blue dots on this map:

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.