Rob McCue, co-owner of Ice Cream Social in Commack, holds...

Rob McCue, co-owner of Ice Cream Social in Commack, holds a cone of vegan ice cream. Credit: Randee Daddona

Looking for a summer activity that is equal parts cooling and filling?  Try the Long Island Ice Cream Tour. Now in its 12th year, this annual exercise in gluttony celebrates the abundance of great homemade ice cream parlors in Nassau and Suffolk.

2020 was the year that the itinerary grew so overstuffed, founders Jeff Noreman and Derek Steen split it in two. This year's dates are Saturday, July 9 for Part 1 (Northport and east) and Sunday, July 17 (National Ice Cream Day!) for Part 2 (Northport and west).

"2021 was a banner year for LIICT," said Norman. "We welcomed nearly 100 people on each tour.”

This year, Part 1 gets underway at Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead. The plan is to visit six to eight shops, including Mia's Ice Cream Kitchen (new in Selden), Northport Sweet Shop, McNulty's in Miller Place, Strong Island in Nesconset, Coyle’s in Bay Shore and Ice Cream Social in Commack.

Part 2 will begin at Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe in West Babylon. Planned stops include Ice Cream Chick in Huntington (the successor to late, lamented Herrell’s), Henry's Confectionery in Glen Cove, Sweet Treats on the Wharf in Port Washington and Lics in Northport.

Why do both parts visit Northport? Not only is it a terrific ice-cream town, but Noreman is an accomplished drone photographer, and he will be taking photos of both groups from the air at Northport Harbor.

Everyone on the tour pays for their own ice cream and drives their own cars, but shops are forewarned that dozens of customers are due to descend. Many will be offering specials and discounts.

So that they can be easily identified (by both scoopers and fellow ’screamers), participants wear custom-printed LIICT 2022 Tour T-shirts, this year in raspberry. When you register online ($28.50 for one tour, $38.80 for both), you’ll be asked for your shirt size. You’ll receive your shirt at the first stop of the day. “Walk-ups” who haven’t registered in advance will pay $30/$40 and, since they will not be assured a T-shirt, should wear a raspberry-colored top (red or pink permitted).

The deadline for registration is July 7 for the east tour, July 13 for west. To register, go to liict.org. For updates on participating ice cream shops, follow the tour’s Facebook page: facebook.com/liict

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