Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice Harvest! This weekend!

Community Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum

On Saturday, February 5, from 10 am – 4 pm, Hanford Mills Museum will host its Ice Harvest Festival. The Festival features historic ice cutting, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice hockey demos and tips from the SUNY Oneonta Hockey team, ice sculpting, outdoor fire pits, as well as children’s games and activities.

Local restaurants are providing soup for a soup buffet; and vendors will be selling fresh roasted peanuts, hot apple cider, and hand knit mittens and hats. In the Hanford House, which recreates home life in the 1920s, interpreters will show how to cook on a woodstove.

“Before there was refrigeration, communities ‘harvested’ ice in the winter so they could preserve agricultural products and keep food cold in the warmer months,” explains Liz Callahan, the museum’s executive director. “We recreate this tradition here at Hanford Mills.”

Children and adults can walk out on the frozen mill pond and help cut blocks of ice using vintage ice saws. A 1922 gas-powered ice saw will also be used. The ice will then be hauled by sled and by a modified Ford Model T snowmobile to a traditional ice house. Callahan said the ice will be used to make ice cream at Hanford Mill’s Independence Day Celebration and other summer events.

“We invite everyone to come enjoy being outside and embrace winter, and help harvest one of winter’s most abundant crops,” says Callahan, who noted that more than 1,100 people came last year. Based on feedback from last year, Callahan said that there will be several outdoor fire pits so visitors can warm up.

Event Features SUNY Oneonta Hockey Team and SUNY Delhi Hospitality Center

Museum staff have cleared a large part of the mill pond for the SUNY Oneonta Hockey team, which is participating in Ice Harvest for the first time. The team will skate and show their skills, and offer visitors the chance to shoot pucks. Returning to Ice Harvest is the SUNY Delhi Hospitality Center Ice Team. The team, which competes nationally, will be making several ice sculptures during the event.

In keeping with the community spirit of the event, Hanford Mills Museum is encouraging visitors to bring canned goods, which will then be given to a local food bank.

The Museum’s gift shop will be open, offering Mill-made crafts, traditional toys, sweets, books and local products.

Local restaurants providing soup for the soup buffet include: Alfresco’s, the Autumn Café, Cooperstown Diner, Corfu Diner, Danny’s Market, Denny’s, Jackie’s Restaurant, Morey’s Family Restaurant, and the Neptune Diner.

Admission and Information

Children 12 and under are free. Adults are $8.50, seniors are $5. AAA and other discounts available. Museum members are free, as are residents who live in the following zip codes that neighbor Hanford Mills: (13757, 13739, 13786, 13750, or 13806). Residents are asked to bring identification to receive free admission to Hanford Mills Museum.

About Hanford Mills Museum

Hanford Mills Museum, listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, is one of the only operating water-powered mills in the country. It will open for the season May 15.

Hanford Mills Museum is located at the intersections of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12 in East Meredith, just 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi. For more information, visit or call 607-278-5744.

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