Start of our summer schedule


Waiting for the Independence Day Parade to start in 2013 with Tea Haus friends.

Summertime is a season of plenty. And we will be part of plenty of good community events and art fairs this year.  We’re still adding events but here’s an early look at the joyful and delicious events for 2016:

June 12 – Grillin’ – the delicious fundraiser for Food Gatherers. Buy your ticket now – and provide lots of                     meals through soup kitchens, senior centers and more.

June 29 – Mity Nice Friends & Family Free Day. Like us on Facebook and you lick us for free!

July 4 – Independence Day Parade.  A fun community celebration produced by the Jaycees in downtown                  Ann Arbor.  Starts at 10, but arrive by 9:15 for best seating.

July 10 – Huron River Day. Come savor life, music, kayaking on the river. Fun family event produced by                    the Park Department.

July 18 –  Townie Party.  Music, youth art, food, fun and more to warm up for the Art Fair.

July 21-24 — Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Aug. 6 & 7 –  Belle Isle Art Fair in Detroit

In between all this, we are available for company picnics, family reunions and summer celebrations, weddings, bat mitzvahs, block parties and more.  We like backyard and park and neighborhood fun as well as the big events!

Art Fair 2013, near the Diag.
Art Fair 2013, near the Diag.


Sweet September


Maypole and tango are just two of the many dances at Dancing in the Streets. (Photo: © Vickie Elmer)

September brings back to school schedules and cooler evenings, yet there’s still beautiful days and events to savor.

We are going to three of them this month and want you to come along. They are:

Sept. 6 – Dancing in the Streets.  Learn to dance an array of international dances, or enjoy music and dance from Main Street.  If you feel adventurous, try Cajun-Zydeco or belly dancing. Or swing and English country dancing may be more your style.  We will be right in the center of the festival, starting around 12:30 so you can enjoy some treats before you move your feet.

Sept. 13 – Kerrytown Book Festival . Held in the Farmers Market, this festival is a great place to meet authors and small publishers. We will be on our sidewalk outside 303 Detroit Street with a make a book mark activity and lots of sweet treats.

Sept. 13 – Monarch Migration Festival at Leslie Science and Nature Center.  This ticketed event features games, educational activities and a chance to help the monarchs on their journey south.

Then it will be one or two more Saturdays and the Italian ice cart goes dark by the end of September. Order your quarts so you won’t be without if Indian summer visits us in October.

This year, we expect to return with roasted chestnuts grown in Michigan a few times in November and December. So watch our Facebook page for announcements of those events. When the weather turns cold, we are glad to join your company’s holiday party with this distinctive holiday treat.

Why we adore the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Our Art Fair booth in 2013. The pinwheels attracted a lot of attention – and so did the mango ice!

For our first few years, the Ann Arbor Art Fair kept us in business.

We earned enough to pay our teen workers for August and September, and often enough to provide for sidewalk rental, health license and insurance renewals and other costs to start the next year.

The Art Fair remains a big helping of our business, and also a great source of joy. We dance at the Townie Party and we serve the artists of The Original Art Fair free ice. We hire extra teen workers – some of whom stick around for a year or two afterward.

We buy art, take naps in the Diag and see old friends who are back in town for the annual extravaganza.

This year you’ll find us on North University near Ingalls Mall – just a block or so away from our State Street location of the last few years. Art Fair runs 10-9 Wednesday through Friday and 10-6 Saturday.

Stop by, say hello — and cool off!

Special event schedule


We have a Mity Nice summer ahead, and we want you to come along.

We head to parks and to the Ann Arbor Art Fair, to dance festivals, book fests and one celebrating a special orange butterfly.

Here’s a schedule of special events that are open to all and so sweet that you really should not miss them:

July 12th – Huron River Day at Gallup Park. Rent a canoe, visit the children’s art and science tent and learn about the river.  Free music and more 12-4 p.m.

July 13th – Townie Street Party. This annual celebration kicks off Art Fair with music, children’s arts and crafts and local organizations. 5-9:30 p.m.

July 15-18th — Ann Arbor Art Fair. Find us in the Original – on North University near Ingalls Mall. Look for our red, white and green umbrella!

Aug. 2 – Fairy Festival at the Sunday Artisan Market. We founded this family celebration of fairy doors and fairies and now the Artisans will plan some fun activities.

Sept. 6 – Dancing in the Streets.  Learn to dance an array of international dances, or enjoy music and dance from Main Street.

Sept. 13Kerrytown Book Festival (tentative). Held in the Farmers Market, this festival is a great place to meet authors and small publishers.

Sept. 13 – Monarch Migration Festival at Leslie Science and Nature Center.  This ticketed event features games, educational activities and a chance to help the monarchs on their journey south.

We started our summer season at Grillin’ – the Food Gatherers picnic with a purpose – and also were part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Street Fair in mid-June and the Jaycee’s 4th of July parade. We’d love to be part of your company or church picnic too!

In between all these big events we love to go to company picnics and special events and family reunions and celebrations.


Booking it for volunteers

Mity Nice loves books – and book festivals! (Morguefile Photo)

Mity Nice has been a supporter of the Kerrytown Book Festival for several years.

We give all the volunteers a free Italian ice and sometimes stage arts and crafts activities related to books.

This year, we’re going to the Ann Arbor Book Festival Street Fair on Saturday. And we’re glad to donate ice to its volunteers too.

We give to these organizations for three reasons: First we love people who volunteer in the community and we want to support volunteerism.

Second, we adore books. (Both owners are big readers. Vickie is a writer who considered a career as a librarian and Mark has been part of National Novel Writing Month.) For a couple of years, we even held ‘storytime on the steps’ for children visiting Kerrytown.

Third, it’s in our DNA and mission to support local charities and causes. In all we support a dozen or more local charities each year with donations and checks. Youth, education and literacy is one focus of our giving. If your charity fits our criteria drop us a line at least four weeks before the event and we’ll consider booking it into your cause.

So stop by on Saturday afternoon on Washington Street and support the company who supports the volunteers. Or stop by and buy a mango ice and a marvelous book!


Lucky 7: Breakfast and Art, Birds and Books

This young woman is serving oatmeal at The Breakast. (The Breakfast at St. Andrews photo)

Next up on the Lucky 7 charities are two organizations that feed the body and the creative soul – and then two others that bring the world to us.

On Wednesday, we celebrate and support The Breakfast at St. Andrews.  It offers a free morning meal 365 days a year, serving oatmeal and muffins and more to 90 to 150 people daily.  The Breakfast, established in 1982, operates from a church basement on Division, just a few blocks from our Kerrytown space. Vickie has volunteered and written aboutthe organization for The Ann Arbor Observer  and continues to back its good food and good community.

FLY goes to schools in Ypsilanti and beyond to bring out the young artists. (FLY Art Center photo)

On Friday, we support and celebrate FLY Art Center.  FLY  encourages creativity and self-expression through art camps, events and bringing its art activities on the road. It also brings art projects to a variety of elementary schools.   Come to our Main Street location – near Washington – from 3 to 7 p.m.

Then we have a weekend of charitable wonder – those who give us a window into a bigger, beautiful world:

On Saturday, our friends at the Leslie Science & Nature Center come out to Kerrytown, and if all goes well they may bring along an owl or another creature.  Leslie gives thousands of people, young and old, the chance to experience nature and learn about animals – leaving Ann Arbor. It offers field trips, summer camps,a “Fall Flight” and “Star party” and much more.  Our Leslie hours are 9-12, though we’ll sell Italian ice until 2:30.

Sunday we’re out for the Kerrytown Book Festival and oour Lucky 7 charity is Washtenaw Literacy. (We’re also giving free Italian ice to each Book Fest volunteer, but that’s a separate sweetness.)  Each year, Washtenaw Literacy trains volunteer tutors who help others start or improve their reading and writing abilities. In 2012, Washtenaw Literacy worked with 1,800 adult learners.  We’re serving ice on Sunday around 10:30 to 4:30.

Our final charity fun-raiser – for this year anyway – will be Wednesday, Sept. 10. The charity remains a mystery (for a while longer anyway). So please show up on Detroit Street in Kerrytown for our finale!


Why we dive in the deep end of charity

Volunteers at Grillin’ 2013 just before the fundraiser started. (Food Gatherers photo)

Mity Nice is committed to supporting at least a dozen charities and local organizations each summer and fall as our way of making our world a little sweeter.

We have a few every-year causes that we support well, every year, including Food Gatherers and Groundcover News. (We’ve been at Food Gathers’ summer fundraiser Grillin’  for almost every year we’ve been in business.) And we add in a variety of other causes., all from the Ann Arbor – Detroit – Ypsilait area.

So why do we give so often and to so many nonprofits?

We would rather donate to charities than spend on marketing and promotions. We always feel we’re in such good company when a charity is our partner, and when we are helping a good cause.  We want to be a social enterprise and encourage volunteering and generosity.

Plus as co-founder Vickie Elmer often says: “Whe you name your company Mity Nice, you must do Mity Nice things all the time.”  Later this fall, we’re going to share a compilation of those kind things our crew has done.

Right now we’re focused on raising support and increasing the volunteers for an array of charities. So please come out for our Lucky 7 charity series – and bring along your appetite and a friend or three.

Lucky 7 launches with Peace & Dancing

Dancing brings people together and encourages joy and creativity. (MorgueFile photo)

This weekend, we start our Lucky 7 charity events – and you, our guests are fortunate indeed.

For you will not only enjoy our company and our delicious made-in-Detroit Italian ice on Saturday and Sunday, but you will give to two worthwhile non-profits – and find joy right by our silver cart.

Saturday, we support Peace Neighborhood Center.  Since 1971, Peacehas provided  family and youth services to low-income and at-risk individuals and families from summer camps to tutoring to crisis assistance. Peace people will be with us on Detroit Street in Kerrytown from 9 to noon. And to make the day more magical, Gordon

Gordo the Magician will join us on Saturday morning. (Photo: courtesy Gordon Schott)

Schott, or Gordo the Magician,will join us, with his mix of tricks and balloon animals.

Sunday, we support Dancing in the Streets. This  event takes over Main Street downtown 1 – 7 and teaches us swing dance, waltz, English country dance and more.  Or watch belly dancing or join the “Do the Hustle” flash mob at 1:45 p.m.

For several years, we’ve donated to Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music & Dance, the all-volunteer organization that produces Dancing in the Streets.   Children’s art activities and an instrument “zoo” plus a maypole make this a fun family day.  Volunteer to help with set-up or tear down too.  (Note: The photo is not from Dancing, though it almost could be.)

If this sounds like a joyful opportunity for community support, Mity Nice still needs more performers and musicians for the rest of our charity events. Join the fun-raisers by emailing us at

So please come out both days – and please plan to show up during the week too to support The Breakfast at St. Andrews (on Wednesday) or FLY Art Center (Friday afternoon). Check our full schedule of Lucky 7 charities or watch our Facebook for other details.

It’s going to be a sweet, sweet charitable Labor Day Weekend!


Sweet charity series


Mity Nice believes in charity and giving back – in our daily operations and after we tally up any profits at yearend.

This year, we’re planning a fall charity fun-raiser – for seven charities!  This is a big undertaking for a little company,  yet we can’t help but feel excited and hopeful: We want to raise awareness, raise new volunteers – and donate a healthy share of our total sales each day to good local causes.

Here’s the schedule of charities:

While we have the charities, we still are looking for some fun for this fun-raiser – street musicians, performers, sidewalk poets or magicians who will join us. Interested? Drop us a line at and let us know what charities and what days you’d like to play.
Even if you couldn’t dance or play music in public, you can participate. Share details of our fun-raiser with your friends – and bring a bunch of them down. Buy a pineapple Italian ice or a lemonade, an Italian soda or a Maize & Blueberry muffin – and we will give to the cause of the day.
Join us for seven days of sweet charity!

Joy, jobs & charity through Italian ice – that's Mity Nice.