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Ice Harvest set for February 5 at Hanford Mills

Written By Editor on 1/25/22 | 1/25/22

Save the Date: Ice Harvest on Saturday, February 5Ice Harvest at Hanford Mills logo
The region’s “coolest” tradition returns! 

Plans are well underway for a streamlined Ice Harvest on Saturday, February 5, 10 am to 3 pm. Visitors can take part in a traditional ice harvest, using tools and techniques from the early 20th century. Before mechanical refrigeration, ice was a valued winter crop for farmers. 

At the event, if the ice is thick enough, visitors can borrow ice cleats from the Museum and walk on the frozen Mill Pond and use an ice saw to cut ice. The ice blocks, which typically weigh 50 pounds, are then transferred to the ice house by bobsled. The ice is stacked in the ice house, insulated with sawdust from the Mill. The ice will be used to make ice cream in the summer and stay frozen until the fall. 

Ice Carving, Blacksmithing, Vendors and Exhibitors

The SUNY Delhi Hospitality Center Ice Carving Team will create sculptures out of ice. There will also be blacksmithing demonstrations and local vendors and exhibitors including Catharina's Hats and Mittens, the Cooperstown Distillery, the Catskill Forest Association, the Watershed Agricultural Council, and Intelligent Green Solutions. 

No Soup Buffet
There will not be a Hot Soup Buffet or any food concessions at this year’s Ice Harvest Festival. With continuing COVID concerns, there is not enough space for large groups of people to gather indoors at the Museum. There will be complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, and tea.

Check in for latest conditions
With Ice Harvest, there are always contingency plans depending on the depth and strength of the ice. For the February 5 event, Hanford Mills will also follow CDC and public health guidelines and adapt the event accordingly. As of January 21, the ice on the Mill Pond was ten inches thick. Check the website for the latest updates and important information on making your Ice Harvest experience an especially good one. We'll also post updates on our Facebook page.

No photography allowed on the ice
For safety reasons, visitors may not take photos, with a camera or cellphone, while standing on the ice. 

Ice Harvest Videos
Learn about the ice harvesting process by watching the Ice Harvesting videos on the Museum's YouTube Channel. 

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