By Tiffany Cooke
The Washington County Farmers and Merchants Fair kicked off on Friday night with rides, vendors, and the Teen Contest, but the Public Square offered its own variety of entertainment to contribute to the festivities.
The second Friday of every month from April to October, the Salem Square hosts a Cruise-In. Last week was no exception, and classic cars of different styles and colors occupied the inner edge spaces. Owners, from young adults to folks in retirement, popped open the hoods of their well-kept and renovated cars and sat up chairs behind them to talk to admirers as they passed by.
Both the Cruise-In and the opening of the fairground to Fair festivities brought people out on Friday night, and the Salem Apothecary took this as an opportunity to offer a special event – an advertised Ice Cream Social.
“The Cruise-In sounded like a great time to stay open late to offer some delicious ice cream treats to anyone who might be on the square checking out all of the amazing cars,” Brandi Abernathy of the Apothecary said.
The Apothecary extended their hours and extended their promotional summer happy hour with it. From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. visitors could treat themselves to buy one get one free ice cream scoops – two scoops for half the price. The rest of the shop remained open too, meaning after an ice cream fix, guests could browse summer products.
With 14 flavors to choose from and a selection of special ice cream treats like floats and milkshakes, those who stopped in were sure to find something appealing to their taste. The ice cream social also served as a debut for the Apothecary’s flavored lemonades and cold brew coffees.
Stationed behind the old-fashioned soda foundation bar was Rebecca Marshall and Rick Hamer, the attendees that served treats. On the other side of the counter were families, couples, and groups of friends. Some were too young to reach the floor from their red bar stools as the ate their ice cream and others took their treats to the streets to admire the cars as they ate.
“It’s a great way to spend the evening with friends and family,” Melody Mount said. “The weather is beautiful, and the ice cream is delicious.”
“From flashy cars to great ice cream, I had a great night visiting with old friends and showing my daughter some good ol American muscles classics,” Daniel Mount, her husband, added.
The Mounts moved out of state last year and were in town to visit family. They took the opportunity to reconnect with their small-town roots. They brought their one-year-old daughter with them, and she gave them no choice but to share their chocolate ice cream with her.
The Salem Apothecary has served Washington County since 1985. In their pharmacy, staff try to treat their clients like family. However, the Apothecary is more than just a place for medical needs, as they also sell retail products and have the soda fountain open daily, offering homemade lunch specials along with their ice cream and drinks.
Abernathy said that throughout the year, the Apothecary hosts 2 to 5 events like the Ice Cream Social for the community.
“My favorite part of events like this is being involved in the community and seeing familiar as well as new faces,” Abernathy said.
The excuse to eat ice cream is just a bonus.