Newcomers to Fredericksburg sometimes wonder what all the fuss is about. They claim that Carl’s ice cream isn’t “the best soft ice cream ever.” I understand that feeling. I grew up with Carvel and Mister Softee, and I know that every town of any size across America has a special place for ice cream. A trip to visit family in South Glens Falls often includes a trip to Martha’s, and the ice cream there is every bit as good as Carl’s. But what newcomers might miss is that it’s as much about the cultural experience as it is about the ice cream. On any busy Saturday night, it’s almost a sure thing that I will see familiar faces in line. Carl’s has been around since 1947, and even as Fredericksburg grows in an ever-widening circle of suburban development, a trip to Carl’s is still a throwback to a simpler time. So don’t worry about comparing it to other ice cream stands, just go on a warm summer night (or a cold February day) and soak up a little local flavor.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Iconic Eateries of Fredericksburg, Part 2: Carl’s
It doesn’t really matter to me if the groundhog sees his shadow. The real first harbinger of spring in Fredericksburg is the annual re-opening of Carl’s ice cream on President’s Day weekend. This year, Carl’s opened on Friday, Feb. 15, and we went to check out the scene the next day. There was a healthy crowd there at around 1:00 on Saturday, despite the fact that it wasn’t really ice cream weather.