By: Kelli Whitman

The Hanford Mills Museum will be hosting the Ice Harvest Festival. The harvest along with other fun activities and demonstrations will take place all day on February 4th, from 10 a.m. until 4p.m. Ice harvesting used to be essential before refrigerators existed, to keep food from spoiling when it was warm outside. The Hanford Mills Museum continues the tradition every year on the first Saturday of February. Guests will have the opportunity to cut large blocks of ice from the Mill Pond, using the real tools and techniques that were available back in that time.  Then the ice blocks will be taken to the ice houses and will later be used to make ice cream at the Independence Day Celebration.

Other activities include ice sculpting demonstrations, blacksmith demonstrations, and kids will have the chance to try ice fishing. You can also take a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh and enjoy the delicious soup buffet while sitting by the bonfire. There will also be a painting auction, featuring artist Werner Rentsch’s “Ice Cutting at Hanford Mills NY” painting. Bids are now being accepted online.

Admission is free for museum members and children under 12. For more information, visit