Bike, drive or walk to a dozen snowball stands for a sweet and time-honored summer respite
To welcome the sultry days of summer, Visit Harford has proclaimed August as “Snowball Month” and published an online guide to 12 stops along Harford County’s new Snowball Trail, the only one in the country.
Snowballs are a distinct Maryland tradition. In the 1900s, delivery trucks carrying ice blocks from northern to southern states passed through Baltimore. Children often gave chase and begged for a handful of ice shavings. They took it home, where mothers would concoct a homemade fruity syrup and pour it over the ice. Soon, entrepreneurs sold this only-in-Baltimore summer treat from their front rooms and driveways. It was a popular and inexpensive summer treat that became a favorite throughout the state.
“Maryland snowballs are unlike any other,” says Greg Pizzuto, Executive Director of Visit Harford. “The ice is chunkier than Italian Ice, but finer than the crushed ice sno-cones found most everywhere else. You can choose from dozens of flavored syrups and, of course, the dollop of marshmallow cream is the finishing touch that many can’t resist.”
As in Harford County, mostly small business owners operate in summer shacks or from mobile trucks. Sure, the lines can sometimes stretch out at the most popular neighborhood places. However, that gives time for neighbors to debate the merits of the most popular snowball flavors: classic egg custard, skylite, cherry or root beer?
Pizzuto reflected on the local flavor of the 12 snowball stands and mobile trucks on the Snowball Trail: “Located from Joppa to Jarrettsville and from Whiteford to Fallston, snowball stands carry on a favorite local summer tradition. As summer winds down, use our trip planner at www.visitharford.com to create an outing that includes a snowball on the way to your favorite outdoor Harford County park, playground or walking trail.”
Harford County’s Snowball Trail: Arctic Ice,Joppa; Doc’s Oasis,Jarrettsville; Dublin Snoball, Street; Emmorton Snowballs & Ice Cream,Bel Air; Friendship Snowballs, Abingdon;Ice Hole Snowballs,Whiteford; Island Ice, Aberdeen; J&T Snowballs, Fallston; Sharon’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice,Bel Air and Forest Hill; Ti’s Snowballs, Havre de Grace; Waldo’s Snowballs, Bel Air and Yummi Freeze, Fallston.
Visit Harford promotes Harford County as an outstanding destination for visitors and residents. The 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization assumed responsibility for tourism management from the Harford County Government in 2014.