It is more than an excuse to get out in the summer sun with friends and neighbors to eat ice cream and to get know each other; it is a tribute to the history of Aspen, Co. The Aspen Historical Society’s Annual Ice Cream Social is one of the oldest and most time-honored traditions of Aspen.
In the early days of Aspen, before refrigeration, ice blocks would be stored in barns during the winter to help keep food cool throughout the rest of the year. Right around the first weeks of August the highest temperatures of the year would begin to melt these blocks of ice. The melting ice marked the beginning of the Harvest Season, as crops would begin to ripen and farmers would begin their harvest. However, just before all that hard work, farmers, town people and ranchers would pull out their rapidly melting ice and whip up homemade ice cream in order to enjoy the last bits last winter before it melted away. In Aspen/Snowmass Village these special desserts were sweetened with such local produce as fresh Colorado peaches and summer berries.
Today the Aspen Historical Society hosts the Ice Cream Social in order to help locals and travellers alike survive the dog days of the summer by carrying this historic tradition into the future and creating a new memory at the same time. This year’s festival will be held at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum on August 4th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. In years past local celebrities have come out to serve the delicious homemade ice cream, this year’s celebrity has yet to be announced, but undoubtedly he or she will be worth a trip down to the museum for a scoop.
This summer the Aspen Historical Society has focused on elements of the Native American Heritage of Aspen. In workshops held every Wednesday in July the Ute Tribe has been featured in storytelling sessions, necklace and bead making and vests and Tipi making. These workshops are designed for children between the ages of 3 and 6. The Museum itself is featuring a special 2012 interpretive exhibit based around the Transition of the Ute people.
Every summer the Historical Society offers walking tours of Aspen in which residents and visitors can familiarize themselves with the people and stories that contributed to making Aspen/Snowmass the incredible towns they are. Historic bike tours are available as well. For the real history buff, the Historic Ghost Towns of Ashcroft and Independence are just a short drive or ride away. Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum, the History Coach and the Hotel Jerome offer great history lessons as well.
This summer get back to your roots with the Aspen Historical Society! After a delicious scoop of ice cream and stroll down memory lane, take a look at historic homes, as well as new residences currently ready for the next chapter in their story. Click here to see available properties in the Aspen/Snowmass Village area today!