Get ready for the 41st annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival.

Organizers said this year's event, which runs Saturday through Monday, includes new activities and programs. As always, it will be held at Velvet Ice Cream's Ye Olde Mill on state Route 13, one mile south of Utica.

The festival starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by an 11 a.m. parade in downtown Utica and a Celebrity Ice Cream Eating Contest at 2 p.m.

Animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will visit at 1 p.m. Saturday and 11a.m. Sunday and Monday. Other entertainment throughout the weekend includes live music, crafts, a tractor pull, car show and old-fashioned games and activities.

Admission is free and parking is $5. For more information, go to

Velvet Ice Cream was founded in 1914 by Joseph Dager and is still family-owned and operated. The company makes more than 5 million gallons of ice cream every year.