Gelato Italian ice cream festival returns to Ancoats for second year running

By Hannah Gradwell

Islington Wharf in Ancoats will be overrun with traditional Italian ice cream vendors tomorrow for the second annual Gelato in July Festival.

Running from noon until 4pm, the free festival celebrates the Italian immigrant heritage of the Ancoats area and will offer visitors Italian ice cream in a variety of flavours.

Hosted by ISIS Waterside Regeneration, the event will include traditional Italian music and food, as well as a presentation of the history of the area and an ice cream memorabilia exhibition.

ISIS Senior Sales and Marketing Manager Hollie Reynolds said: “I think it’s important that we remember the history of our cities and when there is such a great heritage in Ancoats I think it’s great to celebrate that.”

Ancoats has had a strong Italian connection since the mid 19th Century and on the day ice cream lovers will be able to try a traditional soft ice cream made by one of Manchester’s original ice cream families, the Rea’s.

The Rea family came to Ancoats, via Chester, from Arpino in Italy, in 1922 and began making ice cream in the 1930’s. The family business has been handed down through the generations.

Tony Rea, a local historian who grew up in Ancoats, said: “Islington Wharf is bringing new life into the area and it’s wonderful that we can celebrate the past and play a small part in its future through this delicious festival.”

Also available on the day will be Sunset Ices from Morecombe and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, Manchester’s own ice cream van for the grown-ups, as well as local food and drink producers and craft businesses.

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