The Dairy Queen turns 50. Owners planning a celebration on Aug. 13
The year was 1966, and the buzz in Princeton was a new business coming to North Main Street. With the town’s taste buds tingling, ice cream enthusiasts were anxious for the Dairy Queen to open its doors.
It’s been 50 years since the ice cream shop with its famous curly-topped ice cream cone opened, and current owners, Deb and Don Hubbard, are excited to commemorate the store’s history, not to mention the sweet future that lies ahead for the Dairy Queen, its customers and its staff.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Hubbards’ Dairy Queen will have a 50-year celebration at the North Main Street store. Plenty of sweet activities have been planned, and the Hubbards hope the community will come out and enjoy the fun, as they take a trip back in time, while still focusing on the future of the popular ice cream eatery.
In keeping with the 50-year anniversary, the Dairy Queen will offer plenty of 50-cent specials, including small ice cream cones and hot dogs. Games and prizes for children will be held from noon to 4 p.m. From 6 to 9 p.m., Deb Hubbard’s band, dubbed 212, will entertain the crowd with their classic rock and roll, blues and country music. Deb said the band has even been practicing some songs from 1966, and they’ve worked up about 10 songs to feature the 50-year anniversary. All the activities will be held in the empty lot directly behind the Dairy Queen.
The Hubbards purchased the Dairy Queen in 2015 and opened the doors for the first time in February of this year. Prior to that, Karen and Mark Townsend owned the Dairy Queen for 15 years, after they bought it from Ray and Marjorie Zimmerman, who initially opened the store.
“(The Zimmermans) were the first ones to open it,” Deb said. “Back then, it was just the walk-up window and ice cream. Karen and Mark took it over 15 years ago. They started with just the walk-up window, and then they added quite a bit on to it.”
In their first year as owners of the Dairy Queen, Deb said the transition has gone well. She credits much of that to the employees.
“They made it so easy. Of course we had challenges … but hey, the customers are coming to get ice cream. Our employees treat the customers well,” she said. “I give them so much credit. I try to tell them all the time how much I appreciate them and their knowledge.”
Don also owns a construction business, which has come in handy for repairs and upgrades at the Dairy Queen. Deb previously worked at the Prime Quarter for six years; before that, she was a stay-at-home mom.
“I can take charge. I like working with people,” Deb said. “I’m not a general. Instead, I like to be able to build people up and make them feel worthy. I really feel like I’m doing that — helping to build up their confidence.”
Deb said she also enjoys the customers, who oftentimes want to come in and reminisce about the Dairy Queen of days gone by. She enjoys offering those same customers a wholesome family feeling inside the store.
“Some of the customers remember Dairy Queen from 50 years ago. It’s an honor to be part of that. I want to live up to those memories,” she said.
The Hubbards invite the public to share in the 50 years of fun during the celebration.