LeMars celebrates Ice Cream Days and Sesquicentennial June 12-16

Summer and ice cream go hand in hand.

And in LeMars they devote a summer celebration to that sweet summer treat.

The LeMars Ice Cream Days and Sesquicentennial is set to take place Wednesday-Saturday, June 12-16. And there will be plenty of fun to be had over all five days of the festival.

There will be all of the traditional events that have become popular with the LeMars Ice Cream Days celebration like the parade, Art in the Park and more, and this year they are kicking things up a few notches to honor a special birthday.

LeMars is celebrating its 150th birthday, also known as a sesquicentennial.

To honor the history of the town, they will be hosting some special events during the celebration.

“People should be excited. We are still going to have our classic Ice Cream Days events and there will be plenty of ice cream to go around. But we are also doing some different and fun things like bringing in a polo match and a cricket player from Wisconsin is coming to teach us to play cricket and there will be a cricket match as well,” said Jessica Brownmiller, with the convention and visitors bureau manager.

The Polo Match Exhibition will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.

According to Brownmiller, LeMars was a major player in the sport of polo in the 1880s apparently. This event will offer people a chance to spend the afternoon learning about polo and the Des Moines Polo Club will play an exhibition match.

“When we were doing research, we learned that LeMars was the World Champions of Polo in the 1880s and were considered a great team, so we decided to bring polo back to town,” Brownmiller said.

Then from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, June 16, people will have the chance to experience another sport that’s unique to the area. A cricket exhibition game with local celebrities will be held and Tom Melville, from Milwaukee, WI, will be on hand to explain the sport and assist people in playing the game. For those interested, there will be time after the game to try batting around a cricket ball.

To honor their sesquicentennial, they will also be hosting other historical events like learning to play croquet, a beard and mustache contest and burying a time capsule. A large picnic and free birthday cake and ice cream will be served from noon-2 p.m. Sunday, June 16. There will also be a recreation of what early life would have been like in LeMars at the same time on Sunday, June 16, at the Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.

Of all the of the events coming up, Brownmiller is most excited to see a polo match live and up close.

“I am personally the most excited about the polo match. I will probably never have the opportunity to see one again and that’s what I’m excited about,” Brownmiller said. “We get to go out and do the divot stomp and everything through the series of matches. People are encouraged to dress up and wear the hats and everything. It should be a really fun event.”