On Saturday, Jan. 30 from noon to 4 p.m., the Washington County Historical Society will hold an old-fashioned ice cream social at downtown Stillwater’s North Lowell Park on the St. Croix riverfront.

Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop of Stillwater will provide the Ice Cream and Chili for the event.

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.

“This event brings together our history and the community,” Brent Peterson, Washington County Historical Society Executive Director said. “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.

There was no pandemic in the 1950s, so masks weren’t worn back then, but they are certainly required for the upcoming 2021 event and social distancing is required as well.

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 and coffee are free to everyone; there will be a nominal charge for the chili.

The 2021 event is free to the public and donations to the Washington County Historical Society will be accepted.

Other “Fire & Ice” events, hosted by the Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce, will be ongoing such as hot air balloons and an ice skating rink. For more information, call the Historical Society at 651-439-5956 or visit www.wchsmn.org.

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