Ice harvesting - pulling the ice!Family-friendly event features horse-drawn sleigh rides, children's activities, and hot soup buffet Kids 12 and under receive free admission East Meredith, N.Y. - Step back in time at Hanford Mills Museum. On Saturday, February 2, from 10 am - 4 pm, the Ice Harvest Festival recreates a winter activity that was essential a century ago. Children and adults can walk out on the frozen mill pond and help cut blocks of ice using vintage ice saws. The ice will then be hauled by sled and packed in a traditional ice house. "Before refrigeration, here at Hanford Mills and in many rural communities, ice would be harvested and stored until it was needed to keep food cold in the warmer months," explains Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. "Farmers would use the ice to keep milk and other agricultural products cold, and also sell ice." The Ice Harvest Festival features horse-drawn sleigh rides, kids' activities, and iceice-harvesting-tools-in-foreground.jpg hockey on the mill pond featuring the SUNY Oneonta hockey team.  Area restaurants, including Alfresco's Italian Bistro, Applebee's, Denny's, Jackie's Restaurant, and the Neptune Dinner, will provide delicious soup for the Hot Soup Buffet. In the Hanford House, which recreates home life in the 1920s, interpreters will cook candy on a woodstove. There also will be screenings of films showing ice harvest from the 1930s. In addition to warming up with a cup of hot soup, visitors can gather by bonfires. The Oneonta World of Learning will offer outdoor activities for children, and Native American craft expert Barry Keegan will show visitors how to play the Haudenosaunee game "Snow Snake." Vendors will be selling backed goods, hamburgers and fries, fresh roasted peanuts and maple products. The Museum's gift shop will be open, offering Mill-made crafts, traditional toys, sweets, books and local products. The ice harvested at the event will be used to make ice cream at the Hanford Mills Independence Day Celebration. Callahan noted that the Ice Harvest Festival can attract more than 1,000 people. "By February, people are really ready to get out and enjoy a day of winter fun. We call Ice Harvest our coolest tradition," she said. Admission and Information Children 12 and under are free. Adults are $8.50, seniors are $6.50. AAA and other discounts available. Museum members receive free admission. For more information, visit http://www.hanfordmills.org/ or call 607/278-5744. About Hanford Mills Museum Hanford Mills Museum, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, operates an authentic water and steam-powered historic site. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections between energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices. The museum, which is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, will open for the season May 15. Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Highway 12 in East Meredith, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12, just 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi.  For more information, visit http://www.hanfordmills.org/ or call 607/278-5744.

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Calendar Listing Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum 51 County Hwy 12 East Meredith, NY Saturday, February 2 10 am - 4 pm 607/278-5744 http://www.hanfordmills.org/ Festival features interactive ice harvesting on the mill pond, ice hockey with the SUNY Oneonta Hockey team, children's activities, horse-drawn sleigh rides, bonfires, and a hot soup buffet.  Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Hwy 12, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12 in East Meredith, NY. Children 12 and under are free. Adults are $8.50, seniors are $6.50. Museum members free.

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For more information, please contact: Liz Callahan, Executive Director, Hanford Mills Museum, 607/278-5744, lizc@hanfordmills.org