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Enjoy Virtual Ice Harvest Festival events at home, February 2-6

Written By Editor on 1/27/21 | 1/27/21

The region’s “coolest” tradition will continue, but in a new way.  

Learn about the 19th century ice trade, find out where to view eagles, test your knowledge in trivia games, watch new videos about ice harvesting and the science of ice, take part in a winter scavenger hunt, and watch online programming from Hanford Mills educators. Some events are scheduled, other resources and activities are available for you to enjoy when you choose. For the latest information, go to our Ice Harvest webpage.

Scheduled Events 

Tuesday, February 2, 7 pm
Birding for Bald Eagles
The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS) will offer a special online presentation to highlight the region’s Bald Eagle population. DOAS Co-President Andy Mason and DOAS Director and Research Coordinator Tom Salo will discuss the history of eagle conservation in New York State, eagle identification, and a new self-guided driving tour and map, developed by DOAS, that will allow people to independently visit sites that are good for eagle viewing. Register for the free program at

Thursday, February 4 at 7 pm
Winter’s Coolest Crop: Ice Harvesting History and Culture
Andrew Robichaud, Assistant Professor of History at Boston University, joins HMM staff Liz Callahan and Kajsa Harley for a free online presentation. Robichaud’s book-in-progress, tentatively titled On Ice: Transformations in American Life, is a history of climate, ice, and the ice trade in North America, and explores the cultural and economic ice age in nineteenth-century America. Along with a discussion of the history of ice harvesting in the Northeast, they will discuss how Hanford Mills celebrates the historic community tradition of ice harvesting. Register in advance at

Friday, February 5, 7-9 pm
Science Trivia Night with the Science Discovery Center
The A.J. Read Science Discovery Center and SUNY Oneonta Planetarium are hosting a three-round online trivia game on Zoom. Participants can play as a team (2-5 people) or play solo. The trivia will be “ice” themed, from glaciers, to ice planets, to the history of ice and refrigeration. Register in advance at

Saturday, February 6, 11 am
Ice Harvesting and Ice Houses Family Program
Luke Murphy, Hanford Mills education coordinator, will offer a family-friendly online presentation. Learn how ice houses work and experiment with different materials to determine what insulates ice the best. The program is free and you can register in advance at

Enjoy a Winter Tradition in a New Way
Our goal for the 2021 virtual Ice Harvest Festival is to offer a fun and rewarding shared experience that many of us are missing these days. We will be premiering three Ice Harvesting videos, created by the Cooperstown Graduate Program, that explore the ice harvesting process, the science of ice and ice houses, and the water cycle and climate change. A Winter Scavenger Hunt will be posted here, as well as other winter crafts and activities you can enjoy.

We've come up with a Virtual Ice Harvest Festival Playlist on Spotify, give it a listen! Let us know if you have a song to add. 

Have a question about ice harvesting? Ask Hanford Mills, and we'll answer on our website or Facebook.

We also encourage you to submit your Ice Harvest photos and memories, which we are sharing on our Facebook page

Buy Local

Please support the restaurants that have provided soup at past Ice Harvests, and also the local businesses, farmers, and artisans that have exhibited at Ice Harvests. Here is a list of who came to the February 2020 Ice Harvest.  Treat yourself to some delicious take-out as you enjoy the virtual Ice Harvest Festival.

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