National Ice Cream Day falls on July 18 and there's no better way to celebrate than by joining the 11th annual Long Island Ice Cream Tour.
The Sunday parlor crawl is actually the second half of this year's LIICT, which kicked off on June 19 when more than 50 participants gathered at Hildebrandt’s in Williston Park and, after a breakfast of ice cream, made their way to six more shops in Nassau and western Suffolk.
The eastern leg of the tour gets underway at 10 a.m. at Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead and then wends its way west to Ice Cream Cottage in Mastic, McNulty's in Miller Place, Strong Island in Nesconset, Northport Sweet Shoppe and LICs in Northport, Coyle's in Bay Shore and, for the first time, Old Fashioned Ice Cream in West Babylon.
Last year was the first that the tour grew so stuffed, it split in two, covering western and eastern Long Island on different dates. "The tour isn't so much about how much ice cream you can eat," said LIICT co-founder Jeff Noreman. "The main goal is to have fun, taste the best homemade ice cream on the Island and support local family-owned businesses."
The tour is scheduled to take about seven hours. Everyone drives their own cars. Noreman has made arrangements with each of the shops so that participants can enjoy specials and discounts.
All participants must register online and the price is $27.50. If you register by midnight on Thursday, July 15 you will also receive a Long Island Ice Cream Tour T-shirt in mint green. If you miss the deadline — or if you decide the day of that you would like to join — payment will be accepted at the first stop, but you will still need to wear a mint-green shirt so that you can be identified as part of the group.
Registration and more details are at liict.org.