The Hub June 2017 - Page 13

Whether you scoop it, slice it or roll it, slather it with toppings or use it as a topping itself, your yen for ice cream is typical Ice cream festivals dot the globe, with themes and activities ranging from all-you-can-eat, to educational, to filled with live music. In Italy there is even a four-month-long gelato festival, spanning four cities to celebrate the sweet treat. Locally, you don’t have to go any further than Amherstburg, which hosts its annual ice cream festival on Canada Day this year. Featuring arts and crafts and food vendors, this year’s festival also celebrates Canada 150. The day of ice cream festivities culminates with fireworks for Canada Day. Kim Hamilton started as a vendor at the Ice Cream Festival five years ago. When it came time for vendor applications again, she learned the event organizers had backed out. “ I thought... well, this could be fun,” said Hamilton. “I had no idea what was involved with the planning and organizing of a festival. Luckily now MPP Lisa Gretzky was onboard with me from day one.” Four years later, Hamilton finds herself and the festival swept up in the Canada150 celebrations. “This is officially the 10th year of the Amherstburg Ice Cream Festival,” said Hamilton. “We’re expecting close to 20,000 people through the gates.” Hamilton is the sole organizer of the event, and gets no funding from the town or the province. Vendors purchase spots to be able to sell their wares or perform. “I have donated five booth spaces this year to very important fundraisers. I think helping in the community is so important,” said Hamilton. Past vendors have included charitable organizations such as Group Hug Apparel.