2011-07-30 / News

Ice cream boat delivers cool treats

By Scott Rawdon

Look for the ice cream boat on weekends. 
Courtesy photo. Look for the ice cream boat on weekends. Courtesy photo. BUCKEYE LAKE – A few years ago Buckeye Lake Museum Director J-me Braig was in Daytona, Florida and saw a vendor selling ice cream from a boat.

“I started thinking about that,” she said. How perfect would that be for Buckeye Lake? Unfortunately, there was one problem. “We didn’t have a boat,” said Braig. Determined to bring waterborne ice cream to Buckeye Lake, Braig said resident Charlotte Basnet approached marina owner Jimmy Carter. “He gave us a boat,” said Braig.

It took a while for people to understand that the boat was actually vending ice cream. “At first everyone thought we were in the (Independence Day) boat parade,” said Braig. She said children seemed to understand immediately that the boat was a floating ice cream truck and they’d call it to shore. “Their parents, not so much,” said Braig. Last year the boat had engine trouble so it sat out much of the season. But this year, Josh Fisher from Fisher Marina repaired the engine and the ice cream boat has set sail once again.

Braig said the boat operates Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. and generally cruises the shorelines. “Cranberry Bay channel is huge,” she said, as are sand bars and the no wake zone around Cranberry Bog. The boat sells ice cream drumsticks, ice cream sandwiches, and pop-ups. Everything costs $2 each and proceeds go to the Buckeye Lake Museum. Boat operators can even pass ice cream boat to boat with a basket that has a very long handle. “The response is just great,” said Braig. “We get a lot of donations and it’s the most fun.” She said the boat raises roughly $250 per day. Braig said the boat really requires a three-person crew and volunteers are needed. Currently, only packaged ice cream is sold and Braig hopes Kroger Stores would be willing to donate ice cream at a reduced cost.

Buckeye Lake Village Council member Kaye Hartman volunteers on the ice cream boat and always enjoys the experience. “That’s hard work to balance on that boat and hand out ice cream on a pole,” she said. “It’s a fun thing that’s gaining a following.”

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