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July 06, 2023

Ice cream festival returns to Reading Terminal Market with sweet treats, contests and more

The 1100 block of Filbert Street will be stocked with local creameries returning from the pandemic pause with specialty items like churros and affogato

Festivals ice cream
Ice Cream Festival Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Reading Terminal's ice cream festival is returning after a three-year pandemic pause on Saturday, July 22 with giveaways, trivia and ice cream eating contests.

July marks National Ice Cream Month, and there's no better way to celebrate than with an outdoor ice cream festival hosted by Reading Terminal Market. 

The annual event is making its return to the 1100 block of Filbert Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 22 after a three-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bassetts Ice Cream, which was established in 1861, has invited eight local ice cream artisans to join in the fun with contests, giveaways and tastings. 

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Filbert Street will be closed to cars all day long and filled with entertainment from singer Silly Joe, crafts like sprinkle necklaces and temporary tattoos, games and a DJFree ice cream-making demonstrations will take place throughout the day, as will an ice cream eating contest, food demos in City Kitchen and ice cream juggling. 

Participating creameries will host competitions for ice cream sandwich stacking, themed trivia, ice cream shuffle board and flavor guessing, with prizes given to each winner. For those looking to celebrate Christmas in July, GingerBread Lane will host beach house gingerbread building demos and a summer Santa will take photos with guests. 

Besides Bassetts, other ice cream vendors include Zsa's Ice Cream, Weckerly's Ice Cream, Fiore Fine Foods, Tubby Robot, Milk Jawn, Cloud Cups, Dreams Ice Cream and Helados Chupi Chupi. The Philly-based creameries specialize in ice cream, gelato, sorbet, popsicles and other frozen desserts. 

For those who'd prefer to spend the day inside the market, merchants like El Merkury, the Famous 4th Street Cookie Co., Molly Malloy's, Tambayan, Kismet Bialys, Down Home Diner, The Head Nut, Pearl's Oyster Bar and Miller's Twist will offer discounts on churros, affogato, ice cream-topped bialys, ube ice cream, lemon prosecco sorbet and ice cream muffins. 

The festival is free to attend, though plenty of sweet treats will be available for purchase. Check out Reading Terminal's Facebook event page for more information. 

Ice Cream Festival at Reading Terminal

Saturday, July 22, 2023
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Free to attend, items pay-as-you-go
Reading Terminal Market
1100 block of Filbert St., Philadelphia, PA 19107