Here's the scoop: Ice Cream Freeze Off attracting recipes from across state
Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor

June 2, 2004 - Here's the scoop, people of Hopkins County - get those ice cream makers out and the rock salt ready for some cool competition at this year's Texas State Champion Homemade Ice Cream Freeze Off.

The annual event takes place during the Hopkins County Dairy Festival on the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce grounds Saturday, June 12, at 5 p.m.

This year's event is expected to be a bit more flavorful, according to Polly Swatsell, committee chairman for the annual event.

"We've sent invitations out to every chamber of commerce in the state of Texas challenging them to enter their own county's award-winning recipes," explained Swatsell.

Those entries, according to Swatsell, will automatically go into the "Super Scoops" category, which is only for past winners. The "Freeze Off" includes several "Big Dip" categories, such as plain, novelty and fruit flavors. Each entry will be taste-tested by a panel of judges, but there is also a "People's Choice" award, which to many is the most coveted prize of all. In addition to the "Big Dip" awards, there are also "Little Dip" categories for children age 6 to 12.

Early registration at the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce will help participants avoid the lines of last-minute entries. And everyone who enters will receive a letter from the Sulphur Springs Sesquicentennial Committee inviting them to send their homemade ice cream recipes to be included in a "beautiful coffee table book depicting the life and times of Hopkins County people and places." The publication will be made available for purchase during the Sesquicentennial Celebration in July.

Last year's Ice Cream Freeze Off saw a record number of entries due to coverage by the Food Network.

"We're hoping this year's will be as big or better than last year's," she said.

According to Swatsell, committee members were hoping the "American Festivals" special would be aired and generate interest for this year's event, but the program is not scheduled for broadcast until next month.

Whether or not you enter or just come out for the fellowship, Swatsell said there is sure to be a delicious variety of ice cream to dip into. She said $2 will get you a bowl, spoon and all the ice cream you can eat.

"There's always lots of fun, music and camaraderie," said Swatsell, who wants to encourage friends, Sunday school classes and civic groups to bring out their favorite recipes and join in the festivities. "There will be a lot of fun things taking place that day, so people can just bring their lawn chairs and come out and enjoy the day."

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