The annual ice cream festival at Rockwood Park drew a large crowd this past weekend.
I scream, you scream, more than 10,000 people screamed for ice cream during the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park and Museum June 29 and 30.
Barry Schlecker, of Barry's Events in Wilmington, organized the event for the second consecutive year.
"I love organizing the festival. It's like a big family picnic. It's all about getting people here all day to eat, visit and shop," he said.
The festival, which has been a local tradition since 1979 (expect for a brief hiatus starting in 2007), is a huge family event, offering a little something for everyone.
Aside from old fashioned ice cream from seven creameries, the festival featured live music, vendors, crafters, and food from many area restaurants. The Boys' and Girls' Club of Delaware also sponsored a children's activity tent, complete with water games, competitions, and prizes.
County Executive Tom Gordon was pleased with the turnout of the festival.
"I think it went really well," Gordon said following the two-day festival. "There were a lot of businesses and people from across the county and across the state. There were kids running around and playing everywhere. It was a great family event. It was nice to see."
Gordon, who no stranger to the festival, said one of his favorite parts was the food.
"The food was delicious," he said. "I enjoyed having a variety of food to choose from. I think it made the festival unique."
Newark resident Kapree Evans,24, came to the festival with a group of friends.
"I used to come to the festival with my family when I was younger," she said while eating chocolate gelato from Caffe Gelato. "I love ice cream, so this is a fun way to spend the day."
Kristen Johnson, of Virginia, was in town with her boyfriend and two children visiting relatives and decided to stop by and visit the festival.
"It seemed like something fun we all could enjoy," Johnson said. "I liked seeing all of the local shops and vendors. Everything was really cute. Of course the kids liked the ice cream.
"My favorite is chocolate chip," Johnson's six-year-old daughter said.
Although thunderstorms plagued the area Sunday afternoon, many residents came out to enjoy a bit of the festival before getting completing rained out.
"We were there from 11 to 1! Got rained on, but did get some yummy ice cream," Salem, NJ resident Michelle Harwood Dero wrote on the festival's Facebook page Sunday afternoon.
Schlecker looks forward to continuing the ice cream festival next year.
"We had a good crowd this year, and we look forward to doing bigger and better things next year," he said.