With National Ice Cream Day occurring this Sunday, Pitt County locals and visitors can celebrate a day early with the second annual Simply Natural Ice Cream Festival.
The second annual Simply Natural Ice Cream Festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Simply Natural Creamery Ayden farm at 1265 Carson Edwards Rd. Although the festival ends at 7 p.m., the actual creamery will stay open until 9 p.m. so those who miss the festival can still enjoy the all natural ice cream.
According to Simply Natural Creamery Marketing Director Michael Fulcher, the festival will include about 45 vendors ranging from food, wood carvings and jewelry. East Coast Wings, Rock Springs Food Truck and Get A Pizza are a few of the food vendors which will be at the festival.
John Moore, WNCT radio host of “The Sock Hop,” will be at the festival from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will serve as the DJ.
Along with vendors and music, the festival will have a car cruise-in, a video game truck, pony rides and a mini train for guests to tour the farm on, along with the normal wagon tour of the farm the creamery does every weekend. According to Fulcher, Simply Natural Creamery wanted to cater the event to everyone in the family so they have a great time.
“We really tried to gear it toward the whole family,” Fulcher said. “We’re trying to have things that appeal to everybody in the family from little kids, to teenagers, to the adults. Just trying to make it a fun day for everybody.”
With the many different activities for visitors to partake in, Fulcher knows what the thousands of people will really be coming for.
“The main attraction is ice cream. We’re going to be selling ice cream from inside the store, our vending trailer will be set up and we’ll be selling ice cream out of our party room window,” Fulcher said.
Natalie Aynes, manager of the Simply Natural Creamery location in Greenville said she will be at the Ayden farm for the festival and is excited about the opportunities the festival will provide to local businesses and vendors.
“It does a lot to help highlight smaller businesses and that’s one of the major reasons we do this festival. We want to make sure that any small business can come to the festival and get their name out,” Aynes said. “It’s a way to encourage people in the Greenville area to help smaller businesses with their endeavors.”
Aynes said the uniqueness of the festival lies in Simply Natural Creamery sharing the day with other smaller businesses to help them get more recognition. Aynes is also excited about the enthusiasm of those who come to the festival.
“It’s a very good atmosphere. People are always happy to be there,” Aynes said. “Everyone has a good spirit on the day, so it’s neat just to see people having a good time with their family and spending time together.”
Fulcher said last year’s 7,000 visitors exceeded his expectations, even though it was “probably the hottest day of the year with a chance of thunderstorms.” So Fulcher believes this year will have the same amount of people at the farm.
“I feel pretty confident that we’ll have 7,000 people, could be more. The weather looks like it’s going to be nice and it’s going to be a perfect day for it,” Fulcher said.
Fulcher hopes Simply Natural Creamery will gain more customers due to people who come to the creamery for the first time for the festival.
Fulcher also wants the festival to act as a way to spark interests in the people of eastern North Carolina in where their dairy products come from and for visitors to “see the process it takes” to get make their products.
“Since we’re the only local dairy in eastern North Carolina, we’re the only opportunity for people to actually see the cows and find out where their milk comes from,” Fulcher said. “It’s some education in it as well as entertainment.”