I scream, you scream, we all scream for the opening of Dairy Queen, which opened for spring Thursday.
“The fact that we aren’t open all year definitely makes us special,” Vanessa Harrison, a worker at Dairy Queen, said. “It’s a holiday – a Murray holiday. People line up all the way down the sidewalk, especially on opening day.”
However, the line isn’t seen as a problem. Instead, it’s part of Dairy Queen’s charm.
“It’s an event to come here,” Harrison said. “We’re a destination. That’s part of it – the standing in line. It’s not just the ice cream. It’s seeing people you know in line and having a conversation with them while you wait.”
According to worker Misty Long, it’s quite a wait.
“It can take 40 minutes to work through,” Long said. “Some people time it on their cell phones. We’ve had to ask people to curve around the building instead of blocking the entrance from the road.”
For Kaitlyn Lambdin, sophomore from Madisonville, Ky. the for ice cream wait was well worth it.
“I stood in line for about 30-45 minutes, but the line was shorter then than it is now,” Lambdin said. “It was definitely worth the wait, though. The ice cream is the best in town.”
There are some, however, who try to beat the long line.
“We’ll have some people who race to be our first customer,” Long said. “We’ll see people running up and they’ll ask ‘am I your first one?’ and they’ll be disappointed if they aren’t.”
One thing that sets this Dairy Queen apart is their ice cream mix, which has been the same recipe for many years.
“Our mix is the highest you can get in butterfat,” Stephanie Henderson, a worker at Dairy Queen, said. “It’s still considered a reduced fat mix, but we do opt for a more expensive, higher end mix.”
In keeping with tradition, several types of food are not offered at the Murray Dairy Queen including hamburgers, french fries and chicken strips.
“We don’t have the space to have real food,” Harrison said. “I think our clients would rather come to this Dairy Queen and stand in line than for us to change anything, like adding on, or putting in a drive-thru or adding burgers.”
Henderson believes the tradition is important to members of the community.
“We’ve been part of the Murray community for so long,” Henderson said. “People come back and they expect it to look the same way, taste the same way, and they want exactly what they got when they ate here the first time.”
Dairy Queen is at 1303 Main St.