More often that not, it's a swelteringly hot day almost inappropriate for downing warm bowls of meat and beans, not that that's ever stopped anyone.
But this year, there will be a cooler, sweeter option, with the launch of the first Ice Cream Taste-Off, which will become an annual addition to the cook-off.
Much like the chili competition, attendees can purchase a tasting kit for $5 and get to sample and judge five flavors from local ice creameries. Scoop Microcreamery (small-batch liquid-nitrogen-made ice cream on University Avenue), Tin Pot Creamery (year-old Town & Country dessert spot from former Facebook pastry chef Becky Sunseri) and Green Girl Bake Shop (gluten-free and vegan ice cream sandwiches peddled throughout the Bay Area, often at the California Avenue Farmer's Market) are all participating. Event organizer Ali Williams said she's waiting for word from Smitten Ice Cream on whether or not they will join in.
A Tin Pot baked goods/ice cream mash-up: cheesecake with cherries and almond toffee ice cream. Photo by Michelle Le.
The annual event, as always, is from noon to 5 p.m., with the chili taste-off starting at 1:30 p.m. Williams said they have yet to nail it down, but think the ice cream tasting will start earlier. The ice cream portion is sponsored by the Stanford Federal Credit Union.
And it's not confirmed yet, but Williams said she is also looking into getting a big screen to live stream the World Cup quarter-finals game.
What: 33rd Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off // Stanford Federal Credit Union Ice Cream Taste-Off
Where: Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive
When: Friday, July 4, noon to 5 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free; tasting kits are $5
For more information, go to the city's website, email Williams at Ali.Williams@cityofpaloalto.org or call at 650-648-3829.