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Association plans Ice Cream Social Saturday, July 23

By Ty Butler

Erwin Record Photo by Ty Butler • Buffalo Valley Historical Association have their scoops at the ready for this weekend’s Ice Cream Social in Unicoi.

The members of the Buffalo Valley Historic Association will provide a refreshing treat for the whole community when they host the annual Ice Cream Social at the Bogart/Bowman Cabin in Unicoi on Saturday, July 23.

“This is a family oriented event, the kids can get out there and play in the yard, and the parents can sit there on the porch and pull up a chair,” said BVHA member Lesia Willis.

The event is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. and will feature pounds of homemade ice cream, cranked straight from the group’s old-fashioned ice cream-making machine.

Willis said the event will have a little something for everyone — standard chocolate and vanilla flavors will be offered, but other flavors, such as peach and strawberry, will also be churned during the event.

“This is a lot better than McDonald’s,” she said. 

The secret ingredient, she added, is the love that BVHA members put into making the ice cream. “You have to be dedicated to do this,” Willis said.

Willis noted that BVHA’s decision to price the ice cream at an affordable price ($1 per bowl) is a conscious one.

“Everything that we do is for our community,” Willis said. “Right now, people don’t have a lot of money to get out and go places.”

Other BVHA events are also conscious of community needs.

“When we do our Easter gathering, what we give the kids is all they have a lot of times,” Willis explained.

The Ice Cream Social will offer live music, played by a local band that frequently visits the cabin for musical sessions.

Checkers, as well as the game of graces and stilts, will also be in place for kids. Willis said that she also expects a few students from Temple Hill Elementary to join the fun. The students will be on hand for the display of a quilt that will be on full display throughout the event. The quilt, Willis noted, was made by the students during a history and heritage session at the school this past spring.

BVHA, formerly known as Unicoi History Group, went through a name change after securing 501 (c) (3) status earlier this year. Willis said that the redirection will allow BVHA to obtain proper funding and grants to help preserve local history and experiment with new avenues for sharing history with the public.

BVHA’s commitment to preservation may be due in part to the ties members have within the community. Willis said that her mother frequently visited the cabin because it reminded her of the old times.

For more information on the Buffalo Valley Historic Association and the Ice Cream Social event, call (423) 743-7339 or email the group at [email protected]