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October 24, 2014

Ice cream, good; free ice cream, great!

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014 9:25 pm | Updated: 9:35 pm, Fri Jul 25, 2014.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream -- and on Friday, Blue Bell Creameries in Sylacauga fulfilled that wish for many people.

“In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month, recognizing ice cream as a fun and nutritious food enjoyed by 90 percent of Americans,” said Mindy Grier, administrative manager for Blue Bell Creameries in Sylacauga.

Grier said Reagan encouraged Americans to celebrate with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

“Every year, in honor of National Ice Cream Month, Blue Bell Creameries, the third best-selling ice cream in the U.S., introduces a delectable new ice cream flavor,” she said.

The “magic cookie bar” dessert debuted in the 1960s.

“Blue Bell has put its own magical spin on the tasty treat and introduced our new flavor, Magic Cookie Bar,” she said. “Magic Cookie Bar ice cream is a sweet ice cream loaded with graham cracker crust pieces, chunks of dark chocolate, roasted pecan pieces and toasted coconut, all surrounded by a caramel sauce swirl.”

“Many adults today remember making magic cookie bars with their moms when they were children,” said Paul Kruse, CEO and president of Blue Bell Creameries. “Our Magic Cookie Bar ice cream will be a walk down memory lane for some Blue Bell fans and a new delicious flavor for others. Either way, it is a part of an American taste tradition not to be missed.”

Grier said Blue Bell hosts a National Ice Cream Month celebration each year in Sylacauga.

“This is a time where the community can come visit us and receive a free scoop of ice cream,” she said. “Last year we had more than 1,000 people come through, and are hoping for even more this year.”

Grier said it is a very popular event.

“A lot of people don’t know that we are open during the week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” she said. “You can get ice cream scoops for 50 cents. We also do tours and have our country store available during those hours. More than 25,000 visitors toured here last year.”

Patty Ward of Goodwater brought her son, McCoy, 9, and granddaughter, MaryAnn, 2, for the tour and free ice cream.

“I liked it,” McCoy said. “I got the milk chocolate ice cream.”

MaryAnn said she got the chocolate ice cream, too.

“We visit the library for story time and Blue Bell quite often,” Ward said.

“It’s the best combination,” McCoy added.

Catherine McCants, 10, of Sylacauga, was also enjoying her favorite flavor, cookies and cream.

“I tried the rainbow sherbet last year, but cookies and cream is my favorite,” she said.

Lisa Spidell of Sylacauga said she has attended the event about three or four times.

“I got butter pecan this time,” she said. “I usually get black walnut, but this looked so good. I got the right choice for today — big pecan pieces in it. It is better than any other ice cream I’ve tasted.”

Jean Bonner of Mobile was visiting relatives coinciding with her third visit to Blue Bell Creameries.

“I got strawberry today,” she said. “Last time I had orange sherbet. I like both the best. Blue Bell is the best ice cream in the world.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.

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