• Last modified 379 days ago (July 6, 2023)


A bang-up celebration

Dry ice helps keep ice cream from hot-mess status

Staff writer

The challenge: keeping ice cream cold for a Fourth of July social in Peabody when the temperature was nearly 100 degrees.

The solution: Dry ice.

“Dry ice is hard to find,” Peabody Historical Society board member Pat McElroy said Tuesday as the society’s ice cream social was about to start. “I finally found it at Leeker’s in Park City.”

Five board members worked dishing up ice cream — vanilla and chocolate — at Vintage Bank Park. The social was one of several events for the town’s 102nd Independence Day celebration.

The “Apple Dumplings” — as they call themselves for apple dumplings they make as a fundraiser in the fall — ordered eight buckets of ice cream from Peabody Market, conveniently across the street from the social. Owner Catherine Weems keeps ice cream handy in case they run out, society president Marcia Sebree said.

“We never know” Sebree said when asked how many cones and dishes they were likely to serve. “If we have a bumper time, we can go over and get more.”

Another way the Dumplings beat the heat is by dishing up ice cream ahead of time and keeping it on ice in a cooler.

That works pretty well, especially during slower periods, Shirley Beisel said.

Chocolate typically is more popular.

As a line grew, one of the Dumplings asked a visitor what kind of ice cream they wanted.

“Just straight,” he said, perhaps misunderstanding the question.

Toppings such as chocolate, strawberry, and caramel syrup, chopped nuts, and sprinkles also were available.

Leoette Makovec, 3, piled sprinkles on top of her dish, getting chocolate on her face. She spilled a bit of strawberry syrup on the table, which her mother took care to clean up later.

Groups of children arrived after swimming and diving for coins.

Ice cream was by donation. Last year, the society raised $2,000 and used the money to paint and make repairs to an octagonal building at Peabody City Park. This year, the plan was to use donations for new sidewalks at W.H. Morgan House and iPeabody Printing Museum. However, a $1.5 million state grant will pay for the roughly $19,000 project, Sebree said.

The ice cream social is “just one of the little events we do to keep us going,” she said.

Last modified July 6, 2023