The Austin Ice Cream Festival is one of the few outdoor events that Bill and I are willing to attend here in August. This festival was held last Saturday at Fiesta Gardens in East Austin. When we arrived around 10:30 AM, temperatures were already in the 90s.
Bill and I had decided to purchase the more expensive ZIP Fast Freeze tickets to get early access to the festival grounds. These were not very ZIP-py. The staff wasn’t ready on time, so we waited in a long line at the gate. By the time we walked over to the ice cream stands, the 11 AM general admission folks were already coming in. However, we did appreciate one other ZIP perk: the indoor, air-conditioned restrooms.
The festival’s footprint was expanded eastward this year so that it encompassed the buildings and viewing stand where Austin Aqua Festival was held back in the ’60s and ’70s. Bands were scheduled to play on the Main Pavilion stage in the afternoon and a screen was set up for the evening movie, The Sandlot. We skipped all of that. It was just too hot to stay outside for hours.
The vendors competed in the Best of ATX Frozen Treats Contest, but I don’t know who won. There seemed to be more frozen treats and less ice cream than in previous years. We wondered whether that reflects the current business environment in Austin or the economics of participating in this festival. In any case, we tried (and enjoyed!) all of the ice cream dishes that were offered:
Sweet Cream – Amy’s Ice Cream
Saigon Cinnamon (and a color-changing spoon) – H-E-B
Superman – Austin Scoops
Mint Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel – Teo Gelato
Thai Snickerdoodle Dough – Nada Moo!
Vanilla with Wild Blueberry Muffin – Soozy’s
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