A child participates in the unicorn challenge at the New Carlisle Heritage of Flight Festival. The challenge was sponsored by Arrow Queen, which is celebrating its 50th season in business on Sunday. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

New Carlisle ice cream shop customers, employees are like family

Arrow Queen’s iconic banana split and dollar cones have been a staple in New Carlisle since the shop opened up in 1970 and saw new ownership in 2002.

However, patrons will be able to munch on a footlong version of the frozen treat on Sunday as Arrow Queen celebrates its 50th season in business.

The celebration will see an appearance from the Tecumseh Marching Band at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a jazz improv group called “The Glems.” Children’s activities like face painting and coloring pages will be held throughout the day.

Arrow Queen, located on North Main Street will also have a special menu to mark the occasion, introducing footlong or mini versions of some the shop’s most popular treats.

The ice cream shop will be open that day from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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“It’s just a time for everybody to come together, prop their chairs back and sit back and enjoy it,” said Donna Rhodes, whose husband Jason, bought the business in 2002.

The shop was originally opened by Bud and Nancy Young before a variety of owners ran the business from 1987 to 2002. It has stayed under the name of Arrow Queen during its long history.

Nancy Young who has kept in contact with the Rhodes will be at the celebration as well as families who have grown up with the shop and past employees.

“We have gained so many friendships through that business. We see some people everyday. I can make an ice cream and have it at the window before they even get out of their car. Because I see them pull in and I know what they are going to get,” said Donna Rhodes.

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“We have seen the kids that we have employed at 14 and now we are going to their weddings,” she added.

The celebration was originally scheduled during the third week of July. However, the date was changed as the greater Springfield area faced a heat index of over 100 degrees that weekend.

“Honestly (the ice cream) will melt just as quickly as it comes out of the machine,” Rhodes said.

She said the celebration was moved to September so their employees, who are mostly high school students, could take part in the celebration as sports such as soccer, cheerleading and football pick up in the fall.

“We did not want to go too late into the season because people would not be available to celebrate with us,” Rhodes said.

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