Ice Cream Social is a Berryville tradition
By Billy Stidham
The Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 34th annual Ice Cream Social next Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, bringing family fun to the Public Square.
Chris Claybaker, director of economic development for the city of Berryville, said the event consistently brings in between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees and offers plenty to do for everyone. This year’s highlights include live music, crafts and food vendors, a bouncy house and various games for kids as well as the 5K Race and Fun Walk for everyone to enjoy.
Ken Wingate, president of the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, called the festival “a chamber-sponsored event to bring people to the Square to enjoy the businesses and shops.”
Claybaker said its a way for the chamber to give back to the community “for being such an integral part of what we do.” He said an added bonus is that the chamber brings in thousands of visitors and gives them “a chance to experience what makes Berryville special.”
The festival includes a lineup of musical entertainment on the Square, including the first-ever Friday Evening Concert. The lineup will feature the Ford Mountain Gang of Branson, Mo., and Still On The Hill from the Fayetteville area.
“This will be the first time we’ve hired professional music in addition to local musicians,” Wingate said.
The concert will begin at 6 p.m. Friday evening.
Still On The Hill will be performing their latest album, which is a concept album that tells the stories and history of a small Arkansas town similar to Berryville.
For this year’s Ice Cream Social, Berryville High School and the Junior Chamber are heavily involved. The Junior Chamber is advised by Chamber members Nancy High and Mindy Hicks.
“The Junior Chamber does everything the chamber of commerce does — as much as their schedule will allow. We try to plug them into a little bit of everything,” Hicks said.
She said the board consists of up to six high school juniors and six seniors.
The Junior Chamber is an opportunity for students to be forward-facing and involved members of their community, she said.
“They get a lot of opportunities where community members are asking them to do things for their business,” Hicks said, “so that’s exciting. … It gives them different outreaches.” Hicks said that High keeps good track of the students’ hours, which are used to award scholarships at the end of their senior year.
The Chamber reached out to the high school art program to have students submit logo designs for this year’s Ice Cream Social. Of the 20 designs submitted for review, Hicks said junior Heather Brummett’s design was chosen “unanimously across the board” for this year’s T-shirts.
Brummett said she was inspired by “a couple different ideas and combined a little bit of what [she] liked from each.”
“It’s exciting that they picked my design,” she said. “I didn’t think they would because there are so many kids that submitted.”
This year, Berryville High School cross country coach Andrew Killingsworth will oversee the 5K race for the chamber. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the cross country team.
“Because of chamber members we can do so much more,” said Steve Johnson, the chamber’s executive director. “We can do events like the Ice Cream Social. It’s a way to have fun, kick off the summer and showcase Berryville.”