Island screams for ice cream

Opening day brings plenty of foot traffic to Dairy Queen.

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The crowds came out for ice cream for the Edgartown Dairy Queen’s 2018 season opening last Thursday.

To mark the special occasion, Dairy Queen was offering free small cones to children and high school students.

“I love ice cream,” Max Celeste, manager of the Dairy Queen, told the Times. Celeste has been manager since mid-June of last year, and is well versed in all matters ice cream.

Celeste’s enthusiasm for ice cream is matched only by his leadership acumen, which he related to a recent three-month backpacking trip in North Carolina and the Patagonia region of South America. During hiking expeditions, Celeste would walk in the back of the line to catch anyone who might fall or need support going up. He said he takes a similar philosophy toward managing Dairy Queen; he does not micromanage his coworkers, but leaves them room to learn on their own, and is always there in the background for support.

The first few customers were mostly adults looking to get their fix of Dilly Bars and frozen treats. One customer, however, was 5-year-old Yago Demoraes, who was accompanying his grandmother, Kathi Pogoda. Yago had been waiting all winter to order his favorite: chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles in a cup.

Megan Bettencourt, one of the servers, has been working at Dairy Queen for the past five years, and enjoys her job: “I love making Blizzards. It’s like an artform in a way.”

Things got busy once a drove of high school students came to pack the small building. Susanna Becchio, a senior at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and her friend Chloe Combra, a freshman, came after the initial rush of high schoolers. Becchio got a Mini Reese’s Blizzard, while Combra got a small chocolate cone with sprinkles. Both were happy to have Dairy Queen open once again. “It’s so convenient to get ice cream,” Becchio said.

After a brief lull, the place quickly filled up as a rush of young children and their parents stretched the line out the door.

Excitement filled the air as children gazed at the menu to decide what kind of ice cream to get.

Hannah Buckley, a kindergartener, made the journey from Oak Bluffs with her dad so she could get her vanilla chocolate swirl. Hannah said she “kinda” goes to Dairy Queen a lot.

Adelaide Metters, a first grader at Edgartown School, had a big smile on her face as she got closer to the front of the line. “I can’t pick,” she said trying to think of her favorite ice cream. In the end, Adelaide decided she would get vanilla ice cream with cookie dough.

While customers filled the small room and formed a line out the door, quick and helpful service from Celeste and his team moved things along.

Celeste even offered his help to plenty of people mulling their options of which flavor to get. “If you have any questions, I have eaten everything, so just ask,” he said.