HANNIBAL, Mo. - Summer brings a sweet tradition to the playground of Calvary Baptist Church each week, as Sno-Cone Wednesdays provide a chance for children to enjoy a sno-cone and play with friends while adults socialize and enjoy a frozen treat, too.
Seven years ago, Children's Pastor Doug Merrell purchased his sno-cone maker and began serving the treats for free each Tuesday at the church playground. This year, the event has been moved to Wednesdays, so children can come out for sno-cones while parents practice in the praise team and choir inside the church. Merrell said the size of the crowd varies depending on the weather, but the sno-cone event always makes children and adults smile.
“My thought was to have sno-cones with a nice playground here,” he said. “It's for families to come out. Parents can sit around and talk, and kids can have a sno-cone and run around the playground. It's all a time of fellowship, and it's all free.”
A few weeks ago, about 75 people stopped by for sno-cones and a chance to relax. Earlier in the summer, Merrell set up a bounce house and made popcorn inside on rainy Wednesdays. Several children ran to the playground and back to the shelter to grab a sno-cone from holders Merrell constructed to keep several the treats ready to go. Among the youth enjoying the event were Memphis Craig, 10, Taylor Craig, 8, Selah, 5, and Gibson, 3. Memphis and Taylor shared what they liked most about Sno-Cone Wednesdays.
“I like a lot how it's free, and it's a chance for people to meet other people and have some fun and enjoy a sno-cone and talk,” Memphis said. “If you haven't seen someone for a while, you can see them here.” Taylor felt happy, too.
“It's a nice chance for kids who haven't had sno-cones in their entire life — they could come here and have a sno-cone,” she said.
Taylor mentioned that adults have an opportunity to relax together while children play.
“It's fun because it's in the summer, and it's the perfect time for sno-cones,” she said. It's just a good way for kids to enjoy.”
Jennifer Tanner held her 18-month-old daughter Evelyn on her lap. She happily sipped a cherry sno-cone as her mom steadied her cup.
“She came and asked for more,” Jennifer Tanner said.
Tanner said she enjoys the chance for her children to have fun while the adults socialize and enjoy a frozen treat.
“We have four kids, so it's fun to just come out and let them enjoy playing with their friends and for the adults to fellowship and enjoy talking and eating sno-cones together.”
Sno-Cone Wednesdays will continue each week from 6 p.m. until dusk, through the Wednesday before school is back in session. To check out the event, stop by the church at 4605 West Ely Road or call the office at 573-221-1404 for more information.