Stillwater, Minn. – On Saturday, January 28th from Noon to 4pm, the Washington County Historical Society (WCHS) will hold an old-fashioned ice cream social at downtown Stillwater’s North Lowell Park on the St. Croix riverfront.
Past to Present Back in 1950 Stillwater businessman Gilbert (Gib) Larson of Snowland Foods as well as other business people held the first winter ice cream social at the St. Croix Boom Site. Even though the temperatures were well below zero more than a thousand people came out and enjoyed the ice cream and the season.
The event was moved to Lowell Park the next year and later it moved to Lily Lake. The event was sponsored at that time by the Jaycees and eventually faded away like winter into springtime.
On February 21, 1965, the ice cream social was at Lily Lake. That year Roger Peterson issued a challenge to the Senior Chamber of Commerce for the second annual tug-of-war and Al Stevens promised prizes for the best summer outfit during the social. Others involved in the event included the general chairperson John Woll; Dick Olsen and Dan Corcoran in charge of the Donkey basketball game; concessions chairs were Harold Leverty and Cub Davis; the public address announcer was Dave Tobisch and layout was Dave Pohl.
“This event brings together our history and the community,” says Brent Peterson, Washington County Historical Society Executive Director. “What a great way to celebrate the place where we live, enjoy our neighbors, have fun with all the snow and eat ice cream to boot!” Peterson also points out two reasons for a winter ice cream social – there are no mosquitos and the ice cream does not melt down your arm while you eat it.”
Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop is providing the ice cream, cones and chili. Lift Bridge Brewery will furnish root beer for root beer floats and the coffee is from the Daily Grind Coffee Shop of Stillwater. The ice cream and root beer floats & coffee are free to everyone; there will be a nominal charge for the chili.
The event is free to the public and donations to the Washington County Historical Society will be accepted. Come on down and view the snow sculptures and enjoy the winter in the St. Croix Valley. For more information, please call the Historical Society at 651439-2298 or visit www. wchsmn.org.