MARIETTA - Although forecasters were predicting some rain Sunday afternoon, the weather remained dry for the 30th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
"There was no rain and plenty of sunshine, and we've had a good turnout this year," said Dave Broughton, sales operation manager of Broughton Foods in Marietta.
He said between 500-600 gallons of ice cream are served every year during the social, and crowd favorites seem to be cherry nut and butter pecan.
Four-year-old Tyson Franchino, left, and sister Ali, 7, of Marietta, dig into some ice cream treats during Sunday’s 30th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social at the Washington County Fairgrounds. (Photo by Sam Shawver)
"In fact we ran out of cherry nut and had to go back to the plant for more today," Broughton said.
Proceeds from each year's social benefits a local non-profit organization. This year's social revenues will go to support the "Healthy Kids Appalachia" hunger program and Southeastern Ohio Food Bank.
"Hunger is a big issue for this area," Broughton said. "And Peoples Bank, Memorial Health System and Marietta College have come together to form a Hunger Solutions task force to help address that issue."
Rick Stafford, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Peoples Bank, said the task force identified hunger and nutrition as top concerns for Washington County as well as Wood County, just across the Ohio River.
"We're looking at better nutrition education and training in area classrooms, as well as helping the Southeast Ohio Food Bank and local food pantries purchase food at a discount of 5 percent to 30 percent or more," he said. "And we're humbled to be the beneficiaries of this year's ice cream social."
Stafford said entities from throughout the community have pulled together to make the social a success.
"And I think this event hits a nerve with the local community every year," he added, noting that more than 200 volunteers played an important part in making Sunday's social happen.
Stafford said the amount raised from Sunday's event would not be known until later this week when all the advance ticket sales from more than 20 area locations will be tallied along with ticket sales from the day of the social.
MC President Joseph Bruno and his wife, Diane, were manning one of the ticket booths during Sunday's social.
"It's been steady and busy," said Bruno. "People started arriving as early as 1:15 p.m., and the event didn't start until 2."
Diane Bruno said the annual Broughton Ice Cream Social was the first community event the couple attended after her husband took the presidential seat last year.
"We listened to a lot of music and ate a lot of ice cream," she said.
The Colten Settle Band, from Williamstown, was on stage around 3:30 p.m. Sunday as Chris McIntyre, of Marietta, sampled a root beer float, made from Broughton ice cream and Marietta Brewing Company root beer.
"I'm originally from St. Clairsville, but recently moved to Marietta. My girlfriend introduced me to this social last year - we don't have anything like this back home," he said.
In addition to the root beer floats, McIntyre said the ice cream sundaes were among his favorites at Sunday's social.
Jim Starner of Marietta agreed.
"I really enjoy this ice cream," he said. "Especially the vanilla drizzled with chocolate syrup."
Lowell resident Beth Eddy sat listening to the music with "Buckeye," her son's golden labrador retriever service dog.
"This is the first time our whole family has come to the social," she said, taking a bite of cherry nut ice cream.
Asked if cherry nut is her favorite, Eddy said she's not too particular.
"Whatever's cold," she said.