Since it was founded in 2010, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival gives the community a chance to enjoy a much-loved dessert while showcasing how to live a balanced lifestyle.
This year, the festival will take place at Piedmont Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Entry is free and everyone is welcome to attend the event – even pets (on leashes, of course).
Here are some additional things you should know about the event:
1. More than 300 flavors will be available. After compiling a list of ice cream flavors from all vendors, spokesman Melisa Fox said there will be more than 300 different flavors for attendees to choose from.
2. The event celebrates and rewards gluttony. —There's an ice cream eating contest, friends. The only catch is that your hands must be behind your back. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, including chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Tommy Dortch and Diana Sabater, Food Network’s Chopped ultimate grand champion.
3. The festival celebrates ice cream and health. — The festival chooses a local non-profit health agency every year to raise awareness around their health and wellness plans and initiatives. This year, the Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority will have a wellness booth and offer free health screenings all day. It will also have a Grady baby celebration in which the first 500 babies can receive a free t-shirt.
4. The festival’s 2016 health initiative is “fight cancer.” Prior to the official start time of the festival, there will be a fight cancer walk for Leah Dortch, a mother of two fighting both liver and bile duct cancer. Dortch has worked heavily with the festival in the Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.
5. There will be a variety of activities for kids and adults. These include: face painting, boom shock fitness, exercise routines, yoga, Chinese exercises from Falun Dafa Association of Atlanta, double Dutch routines, hula hoop competitions, jump rope fun, Frisbee toss and local music performances.
Festival organizers recommend that festival goers arrive early, and walk or take public transportation to the event. Those unable to walk can park at the Piedmont Park parking deck, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or at Grady High School.