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Statewide ice cream social planned for 200th anniversary

Missourians are encouraged to participate in a statewide ice cream social to celebrate the 200th birthday of the state. Although the event will be held Aug. 10, 2021, Missouri’s statehood day, the planning begins now.

Missouri 2021 is looking for communities and organizations to organize an ice cream social and to register their event at missouri2021.org.

“We were looking for a statewide event where every Missourian could participate in the bicentennial, so why not a good old-fashioned ice cream social to celebrate our state’s milestone?” said Michael Sweeney, bicentennial coordinator for the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Ice cream has another connection to the state. The ice cream cone was first served to the public at the 104 St. Louis World’s Fair. According to Missouri historian Robert Teer, “The ice cream cone was invented during the St. Louis World Fair in Missouri in 1904, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a waffle vendor to roll up waffles for him to hold ice cream. He subsequently sold his ice cream in these waffle cones and a classic American dessert invention was born.”

Sweeney said the idea behind the event is to bring everyone together for 2021 to enjoy a tasty treat from a favorite ice cream shop or by making homemade ice cream from specially created flavors for the day or enjoying old favorites using a hand-cranked machine.

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Anne McGregor, who serves on the board of trustees for the State Historical Society, came up with the idea for an ice cream social with a vision that it can happen at parks, porches, backyards, ballfields and just about any location to celebrate the state’s birthday with a scoop of the frozen treat.

“An ice cream social is a way to take a moment to pause as family, friends and community, and to reflect on our state’s history,” she said. “It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but between the challenges and triumphs, we make Missouri ours to own. The ice cream is a sweet, very sweet way to make that happen.”

Registration for the Missouri 2021 Ice Cream Social is open to businesses and nonprofit organizations. The only requirements are for groups to register their event to be officially recognized for the bicentennial and to hold their ice cream socials on the afternoon or evening of Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Missouri 2021 will share submitted photos of the ice cream social using the hashtag #ScoopsAcrossMissouri.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice