Snapshot: Austin Ice Cream Festival

Where nostalgia for childhood runs as high as the temperature

For almost any Texan, ice cream and frozen treats are a near-necessary method of beating the heat, and in most cases that begins during childhood. Sundaes by the pool or lake? Yep. Otter Pops or frozen juice boxes at summer camp? You know it. Everyone has a different, distinct memory. So when thousands descended on Fiesta Gardens on Saturday, June 23, for the annual Austin Ice Cream Festival, which featured 18 vendors offering myriad frozen morsels, nostalgia was running as high as temperatures.

Between making photos and battling bouts of brain freeze, "Snapshot" dug deeper into it by asking people: What ice cream-related memories come to mind when you're eating it?

"My father had a homemade ice cream maker, and I remember sitting out by the pool, having a little belly as a kid, and wiping my hands on my stomach with the ice cream," said native Austinite Amy Maples. "The salty, homemade flavor felt more authentic."

For performer Mélat, the recollection was precise: "I went on a little trip with a day care and we stopped at McDonald's to get ice cream cones. It had to have been like 20 kids, and I'm sitting there just eating, I look up and literally everyone else is done, and mine isn't even down to the cone yet. That's what I think of ... I was the slow ice cream eater. I take my time, one scoop at a time."

Nine-year-old Leo Larson (middle) said his favorite memories are tied to competing in (and winning) the half-pint eating contest: "I did it for my granddad Papa Joe who passed away last year. He loved to eat." Added his mother Aidan: "He would always take us to Cracker Barrel and get the kids milkshakes for breakfast."

Taylor Baker (l) of local act the Wild Now brought up antics at Amy's Ice Creams: "Oh yeah, I grew up going there ... if they threw it in the air and you caught it in your cup, you got a free topping – I caught it one time!"

Cheyenne Doerr (l) related a classic injury-healed-by-ice-cream memory: "I was at the park with my dad as a kid and I was swinging, and the big kids were all jumping off and I was like, 'I got this.' So next thing I know, I'm soaring ... and land on my face, spitting sand out of my mouth. But it led to a trip to the ice cream shop and I lived to tell the tale."

Brother and sister TK and Thalia Sylvester, pictured after competing in the half-gallon eating contest, were reminded of camp: "Every year, after we'd go swimming, we'd always ... start bonfires, eat ice cream, and play games. It's one of my best memories," said TK. Thalia recalled: "We would all eat s'mores ice cream around the fire and tell scary stories and our deepest darkest secrets. That's where I learned all my life lessons."

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ice cream, Austin Ice Cream Festival, Amy Maples, Mélat, Leo Larson, Aidan Larson, Taylor Baker, the Wild Now, Amy's Ice Cream, Cheyenne Doerr, TK Sylvester, Thalia Sylvester

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