It’s proclaimed as the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Is LeMars, Iowa, really the capital of all things ice cream? The Iowa legislature believes so. In 1994, the state government named the northwest Iowa city as the ice cream capital.
The city’s leaders took the proclamation and ran with it. Roadside signs greet visitors and welcome you to the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” The city hosts a four-day festival each June. This year’s event runs June 14-17. A parade and other activities take place during the festival.
Regardless of when you visit LeMars, a stop at the Wells Blue Bunny ice cream parlor is a must. The parlor serves the company’s ice cream flavors in an old-fashioned parlor setting. People line up in large numbers to survey ice cream flavors appealing to them from behind the glass. Employees take their orders and quickly present them with their treat. The system works well. Even if there is a long line, it moves quickly as orders are prepped and customers pay at the register. The parlor was named one of the top ice cream shops in the country by Frommers.The ice cream parlor offers visitors tables, booths or the counter to sit and enjoy their frozen treats. We had to embrace the ice cream choices. Lisa went with a sundae, while I opted for a traditional banana split. Both were delicious.
The parlor is home to a small museum on the second floor. It tells the history of Wells Blue Bunny through photos, artifacts and other memorabilia.
Blue Bunny got its start in 1913 when Fred H. Wells paid more than $200 for a farmer’s horse, wagon, cans and jars. Wells had access to a milk route and raw milk from a small herd of dairy cattle.
In 1935, the company took on the Blue Bunny name when an area man won a competition for the name.
The ice cream parlor opened on Main Street in 2011. Thousands visit LeMars annually to taste the ice cream and tour the museum.
No visit to the Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor is complete without a stop at the gift shop. The store has all kinds of souvenirs for people of all ages. From ice cream flavor-scented candles to stuffed rabbits, the gift shop tops a sweet trip to the ice cream parlor and museum.
We recommend visiting the ice cream parlor and museum. Wells Blue Bunny ice cream is delicious and the museum offers an interesting look into the company’s history.
For additional information on the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor, please visit www.bluebunny.com.