The Great American Ice Cream Fest will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. during the third annual Stars and Stripes Spectacular on Portland’s Eastern Promenade.

This charity event, an ice cream tasting, will be a first for the city’s July 4 celebration.

The proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, which fights childhood hunger in Maine, and Mercy Hospital’s “Best Shot for Youth program, which underwrites free sports physicals for youth and supports projects such as the rehabilitation of outdoor community basketball courts.

The fest will be held on Cutter Street, and only 2,000 tickets will be sold. Ticket holders will sample ice cream from businesses such as Mount Desert Island Ice Cream, Shain’s of Maine, Gelato Fiasco, Shaker Pond, Hood’s, Gifford’s, Friendly’s and more, then vote on their favorites. The winner, “Maine’s Favorite Flavor,” will be announced during the Patriotic Pops Concert before the fireworks.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Advance tickets may be purchased through the marketing department at Mercy Hospital, 148 State St.; at the Maine Red Claws offices, 413 Congress St.; or at Quirk Chevrolet, 1000 Brighton Ave.

Remaining tickets will be sold at the gate on the day of the event.

For more information, go to or, or call (207) 879-3605.