People will wait in line for just about anything, depending on how good the reward might be at the head of the line. See: the latest iPhone model or Black Friday shopping. But ice cream? Really? Yes, really. And on Sunday, March 8, in the village of Lansingburgh, in north Troy, fans by the hundreds stood in line for hours to grab cones and sundaes at the wildly popular Snowman Ice Cream, a classic, must-visit Capital Region ice cream shop.
According to a Facebook post from Snowman, this year’s opening day brought the shop record sales numbers, with some customers waiting up to two-and-a-half hours in line for a scoop of heaven. At one point, there was an estimated 400-600 people in two, snaking lines on either side of the shop waiting to test the goods. The Snowman’s extensive menu features more than 25 hard ice cream flavors, and it offers gluten-free and vegan options as well. The Snowman’s famous neon sign was lit the night before opening day in honor of the shop’s former owners, Tom Tully and Don Baker. It’s not technically even spring yet, but the nice weather yesterday made for the perfect conditions for ice cream pandemonium.
“I just can’t believe what we’ve accomplished in 67 years, between two different owners and myself,” Snowman’s current Owner John Murphy told Saratoga Living. “It’s a special treat for the community. We continue to give back to the community every single year to thank them…if we didn’t have the customer base, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
One lucky customer was 38-year-old Troy native MaryJo Charron, who’s attended every opening day at The Snowman since she was born and wasted no time yesterday, snagging the coveted first-in-line spot at (wait for it) 8am. “It’s something fun for my family to experience together,” says Charron. “We’ll probably be back again this weekend.” Murphy says that people waiting this early before opening is typical on the first day of the season. According to Charron, The Snowman officially kicked off its 67th season at 11:15am (45 minutes earlier than expected—and with an estimated 100 people already in line, according to Murphy). When it came time to order, Charron went with her favorite: the classic chocolate-vanilla twist.
As it were, the momentum didn’t quit after the opening day craziness. Monday’s 75-degree weather brought even more fans to the small corner shop, who waited in hour-long lines for Snowman’s sweet treats. “I can’t predict the weather, so I never know what I’m going to get,” says Murphy. “We’re a hidden gem, really. It’s small, and the reach we have is amazing, you know, and every year we get busier and busier and I’m just thankful for everything I have. It’s truly amazing.”
For more info on what to do in Troy, click here.