With flurries on Wednesday and snow predicted for Sunday, Vineyarders enjoyed a different type of blizzard on Thursday. The Dairy Queen in Edgartown reopened for the season and the machine that blends the signature ice cream treat was whirring constantly.
At 2 p.m., as the closed sign flipped to open, those waiting in a short line outside the store started to file inside. The high school students wouldn’t be out for five minutes and the elementary schools for 40.
“It’s nice to start out slowly,” said co-owner Tony Bettencourt. “All the equipment hasn’t been doing anything for a couple of months. It gives it time to warm up.”
The earliest arrivals are those who didn’t have to wait for the school bell to ring.
Bob and Margie Aldrin, 78 and 74 respectively, try to come on Dairy Queen’s opening day every year.
“We have texted all of our off-Island friends that DQ is opening,” Mrs. Aldrin said. The couple also plans to attend other Island business opening days, including the Lookout Tavern and Bad Martha’s Brewery. Though they come to Diary Queen often, opening day is special.
“We get Peanut Buster Parfaits when it opens,” said Mrs. Aldrin. “Otherwise, we get bars.”
The first rush of customers came as the high school let out. Students with driver’s licenses (or with friends with driver’s licenses) arrived first, and those who took the bus took a little longer.
Juniors Grace Kenney, Maggie Mayhew and Salyn Yancey arrived mid-pack.
“We got stuck behind a bus,” Grace said. But waiting in line is part of the tradition.
“It’s an Island holiday,” said Salyn. “We always come on opening day.”
Freshmen Hunter Athearn, Morgan Estrella, and James Murray walked back into the shop with a gust of cold air. They had been trying to eat their ice cream outside.
“Ice cream in the winter might not have been the best idea,” Hunter said.
For the second year in a row, Oliver Lively, now a seventh grader, was the fastest Edgartown school student to make it to the Dairy Queen. Oliver’s speed comes in handy when he runs cross country and track. But on Thursday, ice cream was the motivator.
“Every year I’m first basically,” he said. “I cut through a guy’s yard.”
While Oliver left thoughts of his order until he was safely in line, Shilah Trott, a third grader, knew exactly what she wanted.
“I’ve been waiting for this day all year,” Shilah said. “I get a special order that they get right every time.”
When Shilah received her medium twist cone with chocolate sprinkles on the vanilla side, rainbow sprinkles on the chocolate side and whipped cream on top, she gave it a thumbs up. Perfectly made, once again.
The line snaked outside and kids compared notes of their race from the Edgartown school. Some knew short cuts, others waited for friends. One boy’s approach was rather straightforward.
“When the bell went off, I ran,” he said.