WASHINGTON COUNTY – Today is National Ice Cream Day and there’s no better way to celebrate it than with a dripping cone in hand and a smile on your face.
The holiday was established in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, who recognized the popularity of ice cream in the United States; an estimated 90 percent of Americans consume it regularly. Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday to be National Ice Cream Day. It is celebrated nationwide each year by countless confectionaries and customers of all ages looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Many local ice cream and frozen yogurt shops are joining the festivities of National Ice Cream Day by offering specials. Some require that customers mention the holiday, but for others, one can simply show up and grab a frozen treat.
The Adobe Icebox
Troy and Jayma Dennett, who wanted to provide the people of Ivins with a place to enjoy good food in a friendly atmosphere, founded The Adobe Icebox a year ago. Located along Center Street, the structure in which the shop is housed has been a fixture in the town since 1918. Jayma’s grandparents constructed it and the larger building mere yards away, raised 11 children there and later converted it into the Ivins Post office. The Dennetts purchased the property after Jayma’s grandmother passed away, restored both buildings and created what is now the Adobe Icebox.
While the frozen yogurt and wide variety of toppings (38 choices in all) are featured, the Icebox also serves shaved ice, hot dogs and nachos. In the winter, bread bowls filled with gourmet soup become exceedingly popular. Troy encouraged anyone looking for tasty frozen yogurt to stop by and enjoy a dessert in the shade of the breathtaking Red Mountain; mentioning National Ice Cream Day will knock $1.00 off a total order price.
Cold Stone Creamery
Part of a massive franchise spanning 18 countries with over 1,000 locations, Cold Stone Creamery’s St. George branch offers not just ice cream, but cakes, shakes, smoothies and catering. Their unique preparation method – using a frozen slab of granite to keep orders perfectly preserved – and premium ingredients combine to give customers the “ultimate ice cream experience,” owner Michael Proa said.
“We are all about delivering the finest,” he said. “Start with the high quality ice cream and add a wide variety of mix-ins to personalize it. (This is) the place to indulge in your ice cream dreams.”
Among the frozen delights on Cold Stone’s menu are Chocolate Devotion (chocolate ice cream loaded with brownie chunks, chocolate chips and fudge and served in a waffle bowl) and the Churro Caramel Crave (a sundae combining warm churros with French vanilla ice cream, caramel, cinnamon and whipped cream topping). Patrons can also choose from dozens of ice cream flavors to make their own treat. And if those menu options aren’t enticing enough, Cold Stone will deduct 20 percent from any order all Sunday long in honor of National Ice Cream Day.
Iceberg Drive Inn
A fast-food restaurant with an old-fashioned feel, the Iceberg Drive Inn began in 1960 in Salt Lake City and has since expanded to 15 locations across three states. In addition to the traditional hamburgers, sandwiches and corn dogs, the chain is also known for its thick shakes, sundaes and other frozen treats. On Sunday only, any customers who inquire about National Ice Cream Day will receive a free cone while supplies last.
Judd’s General Store is a historic business on Tabernacle Street in downtown St. George and has remained in that very location since 1865. A part of the Green Gate Village Historic Inn, Judd’s inventory focuses on antique-style wares and souvenirs as well as classic sodas, candy and ice cream. Many lunch items are also offered, including soups, sandwiches and breadsticks. They are closed on Sundays, but welcome anyone to drop by and sample their scrumptious homestyle recipes any other day.
Krave Frozen Yogurt
Unique to Southern Utah, Krave claims to have brought the concept of self-serve frozen yogurt to the area. On Krave’s menu of 12 flavors and a plethora of toppings, healthier or alternative choices are considered for those seeking sugar, lactose and gluten-free products. The shop also caters, both at special events and to their customers with Family Night, Happy Hour, seniors and “moms and tots” discounts.
And though Krave is closed Sundays, they will observe National Ice Cream Day on Monday with a variety of special offers. Solo customers will receive 20 percent off their order, while groups can buy two and get the third order free. All promotions include a free waffle cone and are good at both the St. George and Cedar City locations.
A recognized historic site by the Washington County Historical Society, Larsen’s Frostop opened in 1965 as a part of the Frostop franchise. Despite the franchise’s end in the 1980‘s, Gale and Darlene Larsen persevered and continued to run the restaurant until their retirement. Though it has changed hands a few times, the name remains unchanged in honor of the original owners.
Today, Larsen’s is owned and operated by Kim and Andra Garrett and offers many of the same menu options. Glaciers (an ice cream and slushy hybrid) are among the most popular, along with shakes, sandwiches and fish and chips. The restaurant employs carhops, providing customers the convenience of eating in their vehicles in the parking lot.
“Everything is made fresh and delicious,” Kim said. “(We have) fantastic food, ice cream treats and service.”
Though Larsen’s will not be offering any specials for the holiday, Kim said that customers could get Glaciers at half off between 3 and 6 p.m. daily to help “celebrate National Ice Cream Day all year long.”
Nielsen’s Frozen Custard
A familiar sight in St. George, Nielsen’s was established in 1981 by Steve Nielsen. Nielsen’s unique custard recipes contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives and are made fresh daily. The custard, a heavier, thicker variety of ice cream, has earned rave reviews over the years from such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine. A handful of franchised shops have been started in Arizona, Nevada and Utah; all keep with the retro diner-style theme of the original.
Nielsen’s is closed this and every Sunday. However, their one-of-a-kind dishes, which include Concretes (thick shakes that require a spoon rather than a straw), are available six days a week at 445 East St. George Boulevard.
The Sonic Drive-In in Washington is just one of many nationwide, though the only in Washington County. Hamburgers, wraps and sandwiches are ferried, in true retro style, by roller-skating carhops. Sonic is also known for its Frozen Zone, featuring blasts (ice cream with candy bar topping), sundaes and cream slushes. Throughout summer 2012, their Real Ice Cream Shakes will be available at half-price every day after 8 p.m.
The Springdale Candy Company, located at the entrance of the scenic Zion National Park, is a family-owned business founded by two lifelong candy lovers: Dave Karaszewski and Kathy LaFave. Since 2008, the shop has kept customers’ mouths watering with confections ranging from truffles and divinity to gummies and taffy, in addition to good old-fashioned ice cream.
They are located in the same building as the former Zion Park Market but also have an online shop offering boxes of hand-dipped chocolates and gourmet popcorns, among many others. On Sunday only, any (in-person) customers who mention National Ice Cream Day will receive a free ice cream cone.
Across the county, there are nearly endless options for every taste. But where you choose to dine this National Ice Cream Day doesn’t matter nearly as much as the importance of doing it. Because, as Michael Proa said, “Everything is better with ice cream!”
Copyright 2012 St. George News.