Homemade ice cream, kids dancing in the street, classic cars and a really big birthday cake. It’s been a tradition for several years now for Leopold’s Ice Cream to celebrate its birthday with the community that has supported it for the past 97 years.
This year, Leopold’s Birthday Block Party is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 20. Kids young and old will be needed to blow out the candles and cut the birthday cake at 3 p.m. in front of the shop.
“It’s great fun,” said Carey Ferrara, Leopold’s director of marketing and communications. “Our whole reason behind this is we know that our local Savannah folks have supported us since we reopened our shop on Broughton Street. They come in the months when the tourists are gone. They wait in line. They ship our ice cream to relatives outside Savannah. This is our way of throwing a big party and saying thanks.”
Single scoops of ice cream will be just 97 cents. One couple usually comes every year, trying to have one scoop for every flavor in the freezers, Ferrara said. There are 28 flavors on any given day. One year she saw they had about 25 cups on their table.
This is the second year that one lucky person will win a year’s worth of free ice cream. Signs on how to become eligible will be posted at the photo booth.
“We ask that people have fun, take pictures, post them to social media and use #Leopolds97. We go through images and pick a winner,” Ferrara said. The winner receives an envelope with 52 coupons for one free scoop of ice cream each.
There will be coupons for buy-one-get-one-free scoops given to people who drop off school supplies, non-perishable food items and gently used school uniforms for Blessings in a Book Bag.
This year’s DIRTT Kids’ Zone will feature free arts, crafts, face painting and games like Simon Says and jump rope.
“They usually do ‘Stratton Says’ instead of Simon Says,” Ferrara said, for current owner Stratton Leopold, youngest son of co-founder Peter Leopold.
Live Oak Public Libraries will offer activities like story time, Ferrara said, and they are planning crafts, such as making bookmarks.
Oatland Island Wildlife Center will bring some of its animals; previous showstoppers have included an owl and reptiles.
“They trade off throughout the day to make sure the animals don’t get too hot,” Ferrara said.
The stage events start at 11 a.m. with the Savannah Children’s Choir.
“We’re really proud of all the kids who come out and perform,” Ferrara said. “It’s hot out there. They perform on the street, from ballet dancers to the children’s choir and hip hop.”
The evening ends with a focus on the Dixieland Cruisers Classic Car Show, which is new this year, located at the east end of Broughton within the block party area.
At the end of the day, there’s no sticky ice cream mess left over, Ferrara assures.
“We clean up the street,” she said. “We pick up every piece of trash. We sweep the street. The stickiest thing we have are the bubbles from the Kids’ Zone. People don’t drop the ice cream — they eat it. They don’t want it to hit the ground!”
IF YOU GO
What: Leopold’s 97th Birthday Block Party
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 20
Where: East Broughton Street between Abercorn and Lincoln streets
Cost: Free; single ice cream scoops are 97 cents each
11 a.m. Savannah Children’s Choir
11:20 a.m. The Ballet School with artistic director Heidi Carter
Noon Abeni Cultural Arts Performing Dance Studio
2 p.m. Young Kings Crew and The Little Sisters step teams
3 p.m. Cutting of Leopold’s 97th birthday cake
3:30 p.m. Rhythm in Motion with Maxine Patterson School of Dance
4:30-6:30 p.m. Live music from The Twinz
5-7 p.m. Dixieland Cruisers Classic Car Show