Tyson signs on as presenting sponsor for Ice Cream Social

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
The Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced a new partnership naming Tyson Foods as the presenting sponsor for the 35th annual Ice Cream Social in Berryville. Attending the announcement were (from left) Ashley Hinton, Nicki Writer, Donna Hodge, Keith Rivera, Tyler Squires, Craig Kesner, Berryville Economic Development director Chris Claybaker, Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney, Tyson Berryville plant manager Mike Sigmon, Tyson complex manager Ty Price, chamber director Dean Lee and Tyson human resources manager Mike Armstrong.
Robert Cox / Carroll County News

The Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Berryville have a new partner for this year’s 35th annual Ice Cream Social.

Chamber executive director Dean Lee announced Monday that presenting rights for the annual festival were granted to Tyson Foods, the county’s largest employer with plants in Berryville and Green Forest, as part of a one-year deal.

“This is a big day and we’re very excited,” Lee said during a Monday news conference at the Berryville Community Center. “We’ve been preparing for the 35th annual Berryville Ice Cream Social — which everybody knows is a big event here in this community — and it’s always been outstanding for this community, brought us statewide recognition.”

Perhaps the biggest reason behind the festival’s survival, Lee said, has been the sponsors and volunteers that step up to support the annual event.

“This community has always been wonderful about stepping up to that and this year’s no exception,” Lee said.

Tyson, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in Carroll County this year and its 90th overall, seemed like a natural choice, Lee said.

“There’s 50 years of being in operation in this community,” Lee said, “and I can remember the time when it happened and how big it was and how excited this community was — Tyson was coming into town and all the things that they were going to do for this community. They’ve done it all plus more.”

The sponsorship agreement represents a $10,000 contribution from Tyson for a one-year deal with an option for an additional two years for another $15,000.

Tyson human resources manager Mike Armstrong called the sponsorship deal “a perfect fit.”

“I guess [Lee] hit me up with this idea two or three weeks ago,” Armstrong said, “and we started digging into it. He brought to my attention that it’s 50 years of Tyson’s in Berryville. I hadn’t even really thought about that until he brought it up. I’m very thankful that he did.”

Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney, who was recently sworn in as president of the Arkansas Municipal League, praised Tyson for its continued involvement in the community.

“If you look around the country, the cities that have success, they have a strong tie between the public and private sector and that tie we have with Tyson’s,” McKinney said. “That’s what has made Berryville a great place to live, work and do business. We have other businesses in town and we appreciate all of them, but Tyson’s is our anchor.”

Tyson complex manager Ty Price said it’s “a two-way street.”

“I can’t say enough about the relationship with the city,” Price said. “It’s not that way everywhere. It’s just the best relationship between the people and the government and the community leaders and our business that I’ve ever seen, and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that as a company and how much easier it makes it for us to do our business.”

Berryville plant manager Mike Sigmon echoed Price’s comments.

“Our working relationship with the city, with Mayor McKinney, has been really good all those years,” Sigmon said. “We appreciate that a lot. We’ve got great community support and we’ve got great team members at the plant.

“We appreciate everything [the city and chamber] does for us, we appreciate you letting us be involved with the sponsorship of the Ice Cream Social.”

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