Get your spoon ready.
Ice cream aficionados can celebrate both local and unique flavors in a statewide competition for the best ice cream this Saturday in Toms River.
Downtown Toms River will again host the annual event, all day Saturday along Washington Street, where the favorite frozen confections will be scooped up by an expected 10,000 visitors.
The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Ice cream tasting is from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tasting kits are just $7 day of the event, and $5 in advance—available at the Downtown Toms River Office at 218 Main St.
The New Jersey Ice Cream Festival pits local landmarks such as Hoffman's against others from throughout the state. Jody Alessandrine, Director for Downtown Toms River, said 20 vendors will enter this year.
They'll be competing in two categories: People's Choice and Special Judges Category, which judges vanilla.
But fans of chocolate, strawberry or untraditional flavors need not worry it's a vanilla-laced event. There will be plenty of variety in People's Choice. Each vendor churns at least 50 gallons to compete with. To be among the people chosing the People's Choice, get a tasting kit.
Some of the vendors planned are:
Cranford Vanilla Bean Creamery (Cranford, NJ), Dream Scoops (Nutley, NJ), Fajji’s Homemade Ice Cream (Edison, NJ), Gifford’s Ice Cream (Skowhegan, MA), Hoffman’s Ice Cream (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ), Main Scoop (Manasquan, NJ), The Sprinkle Shack (Bayville, NJ), Two Sisters Ice Cream Stop (Beachwood, NJ), and Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream (New Providence, NJ).
And if you like entertainment with your ice cream, there's plenty of that, too.
The Tidal Wave Band will play from 2:30-4 p.m. Other entertainment will include the Oceanaires Barbershop Chorus and The Kootz Band. There will be inflatable rides for the kids, balloonist, and stilt-walkers.
Needless to say, you can also try and scarf down ice cream competitively. There will be Ice Cream Eating Contests for both kids and adults.
Running concurrently with the event is the Wooden Boat Festival in Huddy Park. Unique vessels and even pirates will be part of the fun, making it an even livelier day downtown.
For more information, click out Downtown Toms River, here.