Your Ultimate Guide to the 2023 Utica Ice Cream Festival

It’s never too early to plan for ice cream. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2023 Utica Ice Cream Festival


Kaitlyn Harris


Jan 21, 2021

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The Utica Ice Cream Festival is a long-standing festival that has graced the streets of Mount Vernon and has been loved by the community for more than forty years. The Utica Ice Cream Festival is a beloved event, and for good reason. Because who doesn’t love ice cream, especially ice cream that goes toward a good cause? 

Whether you’re a resident of Ohio and you’re familiar with this annual festival or you’re an outsider just hearing about this festival while planning a trip to Ohio, this is a festival you won’t want to miss. With ice cream, vendors, and weekend long events happening every day, this is a festival that is perfect for adults and young children alike! If you’re interested in planning a trip to visit the town's famous Utica Ice Cream Festival next year, then keep reading for your ultimate guide to attending the festival! Just don’t forget to bring a big appetite for all the ice cream you can eat! 

What is the Utica Ice Cream Festival? 

The Utica Ice Cream Festival is the perfect event for anyone of any age! 

The Utica Ice Cream Festival was founded 46 years ago when The Sertoma Club in Utica, who help put on the festival each year, approached Velvet Ice Cream about doing a fundraiser event. The fundraiser benefits The Sertoma Club which then uses it to help the community by helping the members of the community with various needs. Some of the ways The Sertoma Club helps members of the community is through services like providing hearing aids and helping with school scholarships. What started as a small fundraiser that was expected to last a few years, has now become a longstanding tradition for those within the community and to people who travel for the event. 

Today, the Utica Ice Cream Festival is put on by The Sertoma Club and other volunteers in partnership with Velvet Ice Cream to host a festival that people travel to come to each year. Velvet Ice Cream was founded over 100 years ago by Joseph Dager who began making and selling ice cream after immigrating from Lebanon to the United States. +

Today, not only is Velvet Ice Cream the main vendor and partner of the Utica Ice Cream Festival, but they are also a beloved ice cream vendor by all of those within the community. Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, Velvet Ice Cream and The Sertoma Club get together to host the Utica Ice Cream Festival for everyone in the community, upholding a tradition of a weekend filled with fun activities and tasty treats. 

Utica Ice Cream Festival Basic Information 

The Utica Ice Cream Festival is a tradition upheld by the members of the community! Photo courtesy of Sertoma Ice Cream Festival

When planning a trip to the Utica Ice Cream Festival, whether you’re coming from out of town or just down the street, you’ll need to know the basic information of the event like where it is held, the time it starts, and when it’s being held. Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you and gathered all of the information you’ll need to attend the Utica Ice Cream Festival for a weekend you won’t forget! 

Date of Festival: 

  • May 27 - May 29 
  • Saturday: 9am - 7pm
  • Sunday: 10am - 7pm
  • Monday: 10am - 6pm 

Festival Start Time:

The festival will begin on Saturday with a parade kickoff, which typically begins at Utica High School. The parade is usually set to start at 11am.

Location of Festival: 

  • 11339 Mt. Vernon Rd. Utica, OH 

Cost of Festival: 

  • $5 parking fee, which includes admission to the festival  

Expected Events

Throughout the Utica Ice Cream Festival there are plenty of things to do and see for the whole family. All through the weekend there are events to keep you busy in between your time taste testing different flavors of ice cream and enjoying live music and the company of everyone within the community. 

Along with scheduled activities and events throughout the festival weekend, the festival also hosts over 50 artisan shops and vendors for you to explore as well. These vendors range from shops that sell unique items to food vendors to keep you energized all day long. A list of some of the events you can expect to see at the festival can be found below: 

Saturday, May 27th

  • Parade
  • Arts and crafts
  • Glenn Parks Banjo Entertainment 
  • Magic shows
  • Sack races
  • Wheelbarrow races
  • Water balloon toss
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium show 
  • Men and women baseball games
  • Ice cream eating contest
  • Plank race
  • Egg toss
  • Six Miles to Nellie Music Entertainment 

Sunday, May 28th

  • Arts and crafts
  • Church services 
  • Kiddie tractor pulls
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Show 
  • Magic shows
  • Bryan Lewis Music Entertainment 
  • Plank races
  • Ice cream eating contest

Monday, May 29th 

  • Magic shows
  • Matt Simmons Band Music Entertainment 
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sack race
  • Three-legged race
  • Egg toss
  • Seed spitting contest
  • Plank race 
  • Water balloon toss
  • Ice cream eating contest 

*For a full list of activities and events taking place throughout the weekend at the Utica Ice Cream Festival and the times and locations of each event, click here

Other Things to Do When You Visit the Utica Ice Cream Festival 

The Utica Ice Cream Festival is more than just a festival for ice cream. There is so much to see and do while you’re here! 

If you’re traveling from out of town to come to this beloved ice cream festival, then why not make a trip out of it? There is plenty to do in and around the area that if you don't want to spend all weekend at the Utica Ice Cream Festival, then you can spend a day at the festival and spend the rest of your weekend exploring. We’ve gathered a list of things to do and see around the area, as well as some options of where to stay while you’re in town. Keep reading for some suggestions on how to spend the rest of your weekend below! 

Branstool Orchards 

5895 Johnstown | Utica, OH | Branstool Orchards | Facebook

Branstool Orchards is a fun place to visit for date night or as a fun outing with the family. At Branstool Orchards you can explore their grounds and take in the lovely scenery they have to offer. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even pick your own peaches, apples, and flowers to take home with you. The fruit is fresh and juicy and will make great additions to anyone’s kitchen! There is also a farmers market on site where you can buy fresh produce and other unique products all made by local vendors. 

Three Oaks Vineyard 

1591 Crosley Rd. | Granville, OH | 

Time from Utica, OH: About 20 minutes

Three Oaks Vineyard is a vineyard located just 20 minutes from Utica, OH. At Three Oaks Vineyard you can sample a wide variety of wines, have a look around the property, or sit outside on their outdoor patio area to enjoy the warm weather. Three Oaks Vineyard also offers live music and food trucks on weekends when the weather permits. This is a fun place to go for a relaxing night of enjoying some good wine and some great company. Because of the vineyard’s small size, you can even meet personally with the owners for an even more personalized experience. 

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

4850 Powell Rd. | Columbus, OH |

Time from Utica, OH: About 45 minutes

If you’re traveling to Utica, OH for the ice cream festival and you love animals or you’re looking for a fun way to spend another day of your trip, then the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the perfect place for you to go. Not only does the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have tons of animals for you to see and habitats for you to explore, but there are also kid friendly activities throughout the zoo, options for personal animal encounters, animal shows, and so much more. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is also attached to their waterpark, Zoombezi Bay, so you’ll have even more opportunities for fun while on your trip! 


160 Easton Town Center | Columbus, OH |

Time from Utica, OH: About 40 minutes

If you’re traveling with kids to the ice cream festival, or if you’re a big kid yourself, then a stop at the Legoland Discovery Center in Columbus, OH is a must see! Legoland in Columbus is your one-stop place for all things legos. From master lego builders that can help answer any lego questions you have to unique lego sets you can’t get anywhere else, Legoland is the perfect place for anyone who loves to build things. At the Legoland Discovery Center there are also themed rides available for kids to go on and building areas everyone can explore. A trip to Legoland Discovery Center in Columbus, OH is a must visit place for anyone who wants to feel like a kid again! 

Places to Stay While in Town

If you’re traveling to the Utica Ice Cream Festival from out of town, chances are you are going to need to find a place to stay. We’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite and well-reviewed places to stay in or near Utica to help you get started on your accommodation search! These hotels are in great locations and offer a comfortable stay so you can enjoy your weekend to its fullest! 

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel 

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel close to the festival. Photo courtesy of Expedia.

12 Public Square | Mount Vernon, OH | The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel (

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel is located in a quiet part of Mount Vernon and is a luxury hotel worth staying at if you want a comfortable stay with a nice and relaxing atmosphere. Each room is equipped with free wifi, complimentary breakfast, access to a gym, and parking is also included. If you’re looking for a place to stay that is near the festival then the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel is perfect! 

Embassy Suites by Hilton 

The perfect hotel for exploring Ohio. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

2886 Airport Drive | Columbus, OH | Embassy Suites (Tripadvisor) 

If you’re coming from out of town or you’re flying into Ohio, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Columbus, Ohio is the perfect hotel to stay. It is close to the airport, offers shuttle service, and is centrally located in Columbus. If you want to explore more than just the Utica Ice Cream Festival and you’re planning to visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium or other attractions, then the Embassy Suites by Hilton is the perfect hotel option for you! 

Best Western Lakewood Inn

An affordable hotel option with all the comfort. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

122 Arrowhead Blvd. | Hebron, OH | Best Western Lakewood Inn (Tripadvisor) 

Located just 30 minutes from Utica, the Best Western Lakewood Inn is a great affordable option for lodging accommodations if you’re traveling from out of town for the festival. WIth all the accommodations you get with a five star hotel at a fraction of the cost, the Best Western Lakewood Inn is a great hotel option for your trip to Ohio! 

Visit the Utica Ice Cream Festival and make all your ice cream dreams come true! 

Whether you’re traveling from out of town or you are a Utica local, the Utica Ice Cream Festival is one festival you won’t want to miss this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend! You don’t even need to be a lover of ice cream to enjoy this event and all it has to offer. With so many events and activities to partake in or watch, this festival is one you won’t forget. So grab your loved ones and head over the Utica Ice Cream Festival and make a Memorial Day memory you won’t forget any time soon! 

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September 9, 2022
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