Lloyd Smith, president of the Rohrersville Ruritan, said regulations permit homemade ice cream that is prepared using a prepackaged mix, rather than the "from scratch" kind of ice cream the club had been concocting for years.
"We tried the mix one year, but we didn't like it, so we just bought it this year," said Smith, 60, of Hagerstown.
The club settled on Hershey's Ice Cream as a substitute. Festival-goers gave it mixed reviews.
"It's good," said Carol Elliott, 50, who had some of the ice cream on top of a piece of strawberry shortcake. "It just isn't as good as the homemade."
Lori Dagenhart, who attends the festival each year, said she liked it.
"Hershey's was a good choice to replace the homemade ice cream," said Dagenhart, 42, of Sharpsburg.
New festival-goers, having nothing to compare it to, said they were satisfied.
Les and Bonny Stotler, 39 and 46, went to the festival for the first time with their son Nicholas, 2. Les Stotler said his family enjoyed their strawberry-slathered vanilla ice cream. Nicholas enjoyed it so much, in fact, that he burst into smiles and applause between bites.
Ice cream notwithstanding, attendees seemed to find plenty to please them at the event. The Ruritan offered festival fare including burgers and fries, local churches provided children's games and the Rohrersville Band played crisp, lively concert band music.
Eva Atkinson of New Market, Md., said she and her son, Joedy, 26, went to the festival to hear her husband, Bob, play clarinet in the band.
Dawn Reidy and her son Sean, 12, of Hedgesville, W.Va., stumbled upon the festival by accident when they went to watch a soccer game at the park. Dawn Reidy, who said she is from the Baltimore area, said she loved the "feel" of the festival.
"This was a great big surprise for us because we're coming to watch a soccer game and we're here at a strawberry festival," Reidy said. "It's wonderful, like a homey feeling. It's so cute. It makes you smile really hard."