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Roswell set for 10th annual ice cream celebration
by James Swift
August 13, 2014 12:46 PM | 2776 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drake House director of programs Christy Merritt and executive director Kathy Swahn brought out their old fashioned ice cream crank.
Drake House director of programs Christy Merritt and executive director Kathy Swahn brought out their old fashioned ice cream crank.
For years, Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’ has been a can’t-miss event for north Fulton residents with a taste for the sweet stuff. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 2014 event is scheduled for Aug. 24 at Roswell Square.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Drake House, a Roswell-based residential assessment center for homeless women and children. Karen Pye, development director for the nonprofit, described the event.

“Various organizations in the community get together into teams and they make homemade ice cream,” she said. “This year, its $6 per person or $20 for a family up to six people to come and taste as much ice cream as you can stand.”

Both the organization and the event is named after Roswell native and North Fulton Community Charities Founder Mary Drake.

“She passed away in April 2006,” said Drake House Executive Director Kathy Swahn. “We have photos of Mary at our first ice cream cranking. She’s kind of our guiding star. She’s the spirit here.”

From 2 to 4 p.m., attendees can sample over 100 flavors of ice cream and participate in stacking and eating competitions.

“The eating contest is without spoons, so it’s a lot of fun to see them enjoy their ice cream,” said Drake House Director of Programs Christy Merritt. “When they lift up their faces, they have ice cream from their nose to their chin.”

About 40 groups participated as crankers at last year’s event. Pye expects this year’s crankin’ to draw about 3,200 people.

“It’s a huge impact on our budget,” she said. “We hope to raise about $50,000 and our expenses should run only around $1,000.”

Swahn said she enjoys the “synergy” of the event — “to see people across generations come together.”

Merritt said current and former Drake House residents are invited to the event. “Oftentimes, they’re there with their advocates and it’s a really fun reunion,” she said.

The battle for “best ice cream” bragging rights can get quite competitive, with Swahn stating she starts getting calls and e-mails about the event as early as January.

As enthusiastic as the crankers may be, the attendees might be even more gaga about the event. In 2013, one local church cranked out 89 gallons of ice cream.

“They ran out,” Swahn said.

More details on the event and ticket ordering information is available at

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