SULPHUR SPRINGS — According to the International Dairy Foods Association, in 1984 President Ronald Reagan declared July as national ice cream month for all of America and national ice cream day to be the third Sunday every July.
This year, national ice cream day was celebrated a few weeks early in Sulphur Springs via the Lions Club's annual ice cream social.
Each year in the Community Building, people from surrounding communities show up for a meal and dessert. The meal is free, but donations are always accepted.
Lion Bill Chapman celebrated his 51st ice cream social with the club this summer; he joined the club back in February, 1964.
"All the money made at the social is put back into the community. This building [Community Building] was built in September of 1974 from the money raised over the years and the social has been here ever since," said Chapman.
According to son Tim Chapman, also a member of the Lions, there is normally a good turn out each year.
This year, along with the dinner and ice cream, attendees also had the opportunity to listen to the Henry County Community Band. This was the band's first year performing at the social.
The band's conductor, Rachel Eldridge, said this is one of the only times they've had a summer concert in the eight years in which they have played together.
"We normally don't play during the summer and we're trying to expand our horizons," Eldridge said.
The band consists of people from high school age to 80 years old.
The band formed in 2008 even though some of those involved hadn't played their instrument in years.
"This is what a community band is for. It's for people who want to play that might not have for many, many years," Eldridge said.
The band for the annual event has changed, but the homemade ice cream never will. Kylee Eller of Yorktown said she grew up in Sulphur Springs and comes back to the event every year.
Eller's grandmother used to make vanilla ice cream every year and bring it to the social, and now Eller does too to keep the tradition alive.
"I don't think I've ever missed the social for as long as I can remember," Eller said.