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."

See more at austinchronicle.com/arts/snapshot. Want to pitch an event, happening, idea, or person for “Snapshot”? Email the author/photog: dhall@austinchronicle.com.

Got opinions about theatre, art, dance, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More ice cream
Restaurant Review
Lick
Their milkshake brings all the foodies to the yard, and they're like, 'It's better than yours'

Claudia Alarcón, March 23, 2012

Coconut Bliss
Coconut Bliss
Skip the sugar crash and dairy congestion, and head for the frozen treats aisle for Coconut Bliss

Kate Thornberry, Nov. 28, 2008

More Snapshot
Snapshot: Rodeo Austin
Snapshot: Rodeo Austin
It’s not all bucking broncs and fried food on a stick. Photographer David Brendan Hall goes under the rope to explore the inner workings of the rodeo.

David Brendan Hall, March 29, 2019

Snapshot – Inside Hopscotch: Light and Sound
Snapshot – Inside Hopscotch: Light and Sound
This is the immersive art experience that's all over your Instagram feed

David Brendan Hall, March 1, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

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

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Time to vote! Best of Austin 2019 balloting is underway   VOTE NOW