The Ice Cream Capital of the World is ready to roll out the ice cream carts, cones, scoops and sandwiches. You name it.
"Cone Sculptures" at the Arts Center and root beer floats at the Plymouth County Historical Museum start the day off Thursday, June 18, with both open from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The 41st annual Ice Cream Social at Primebank in downtown Le Mars starts Thursday evening at 6 p.m. The ice cream social features music by the Mearl Lake Orchestra, balloon art by Flutterby the Clown and other family fun -- and of course -- free ice cream.
Then trek on over to the Olson Cultural Event Center by 8 p.m. for fun games, the movie "Bedtime Stories" and more sweet treats.
Friday starts off with the 14th annual YMCA 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on First Avenue Southwest and Northwest.
Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars features a Smile Contest and ice cream social at 2 p.m.
A stop at St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA, 201 First Ave. N.W., at 3 p.m. will offer visitors a tour and visual trip through the Old Testament while viewing the upper tier of stained glass windows in the church's newly refurbished sanctuary (air conditioned too).
Gear up for family fun from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Cleveland Park, Third Street Southeast, for Cleveland Castle Family Fun Fest. Activities include fun, entertainment and treats (yep, including free ice cream) compliments of Chamber businesses.
The rock band Me in Motion and entertainer Heath McNease will headline exhibitions by Tim Byrne (skateboard) and Vic Murphy (BMX bike). There is no admission. Food and drink vendors will be on the grounds. Bring a lawn chair, sit back and enjoy. Rain location will be announced on KLEM.
Saturday is packed full of activities for all ages.
The Ice Cream Days parade at 9 a.m. starts from the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, travels west on Sixth Street Northeast to Central Avenue and then south through downtown, past Foster Park and ending at Eighth Street South.
Returning entries include the Su Fu Du drumline, Mr. Gooseman and his Gaggle, the Gehlen Jays Marching Band, antique tractors, Shrine units and more.
New this year is the Clarinda Academy Drumline and Color Guard.
Mr. Gooseman and his Gaggle will be featured in Foster Park following the parade. Su Fu Du percussion group will perform at 11 a.m. and noon.
Art in the Park runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Foster Park and features more than 50 artists, crafters and commercial vendors offering unique items for sale.
"This is the biggest number of vendors we've had in years," said Sue Butcher, Le Mars Chamber operations manager. "We also added more food vendors in addition to the Chamber booth."
Butcher said hotdogs, hamburgers, brats, pork and chicken sandwiches, turkey legs, kettle corn, funnel cakes, frozen cheesecake on a stick, deep fat fried Oreos, jumbo pretzels, Godfather's pizza, nachos with cheese, Indian tacos and more will be available.
"Most of the food vendors will be set up by 9 a.m. so people along the parade route can enjoy the food during the parade," Butcher added. "We're really excited about all the vendors in the park."
"Scoops of Fun" kids production area will be in Foster Park from 10:30 a.m. to noon, offering a bucket full of ice cream fun and and activities for kids.
Members of the Northwest Iowa Genealogy Society will help guests dig into their family history from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Le Mars Public Library and Plymouth County Historical Museum.
Hope for a breeze Saturday afternoon as the Wind Rhythm Kite Club will host kite flying at the Le Mars Community Schools baseball/softball practice fields at 900 Sixth Ave. S.W.
The Fishing Derby at the Le Mars Municipal Park hosted by the Le Mars Sportsman's Club runs from 5 to 7 p.m. with prizes and refreshments.
The Town & Country Toy Club's annual toy auction will start at 5 p.m. at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. The Toy Show runs Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No admission charge.
If running is your thing, plan to take part in the second annual Tom Skram Memorial Fun Run which starts at the Olson Cultural Event Center at 6 p.m. Proceeds from entry fees and donations go to the fight against pancreatic cancer in memory of Tom Skram. Register on-line a www.teamtoot.org.
New this year is the "Grill 'n' Chill Rib Rally at the Olson Cultural Event Center from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Local amateur chefs will prepare their favorite rib recipes on site, with racks of ribs smoked all day. Preparation begins at 9 a.m., with judging by 5:30 p.m. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of the varied ways of preparing smoked meats.
"We have 12 participants already signed up," said Butcher.
Registrations will be accepted up to grilling time the day of the event. There is a $25 registration fee, and paybacks will be awarded.
Stop back at Foster Park for some early evening activities, including the Kiwanis/Aktion Club Ice Cream Social, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the Lions Club "Golf Ball Drop" at 6:45 p.m., and the kickoff of the Le Mars Municipal Band's 103rd season with a concert in the carousel at 7 p.m.
After the concert, stop in at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 8 p.m. for Dueling Pianos/River Rats, with pianists and comedians Jim Steinworth and Steve Alm bringing their talent -- and two grand pianos -- for a night of fun with audience participation. Admission is free.