Gifford's ice cream factory in Skowhegan was significantly damaged during a February fire.
In this March 19, 2022, file photo, Katelyn Harriman, 19, hangs up an open sign for the seasonal opening of Gifford’s Ice Cream Stand in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Gifford’s Ice Cream announced Wednesday that its four ice cream stands will open on time this year, despite the lingering effects of a major fire at the company’s Skowhegan plant.

An accidental fire on Feb. 2 at the Gifford’s plant in Skowhegan caused significant damage to the facility, rendering the plant nonoperational for several weeks. Gifford’s is still repairing the facility as it ramps back up to full ice cream-making capacity.

The company has received production help from other New England ice cream makers, and there will be no shortage or delay in opening its stands in Bangor, Waterville, Farmington and Skowhegan, Gifford’s CEO Lindsay Skilling said Wednesday.

“As we considered next steps in the wake of the fire, we faced some tough choices; getting back up and running was never in doubt, but the timing has been uncertain. Ultimately, we decided to push forward — with the help of a network of partners,” Skilling said.

The Bangor stand will open on its traditional date of March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, a few days ahead of the spring equinox. It’ll be followed by the Waterville location on March 24, the Farmington location on March 31, and the Skowhegan location on April 7. A fifth stand, in Auburn, closed permanently last year.

Avatar photo

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.