First Day Of Spring Draws People Out For Icy Treat Despite Cold

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LEHIGHTON -- Even though there is still some snow on the ground on this first day of spring, it didn't stop folks in Carbon County from heading out in the chilly temperatures for some free Rita's Italian water ice.

Once the clock struck 12, one by one folks flocked to Rita's Italian water ice in Carbon County. Families, friends, and lots of kids lined up and packed the windows for their treat in Lehighton, an old-time tradition that happens every first day of spring, getting their free Italian water ice.

"I saw everyone here at Rita's and I was like 'oh my God,' my friend said 'it's the first day of spring and free Rita's,' so I said 'free Rita's, let's go!'" says Ashtyn Juracka of Jim Thorpe.

"The cold doesn't bother you? No not too much, I'm glad spring's here though!" says Liz Juracka of Jim Thorpe.

Rita's website says this is the 21st annual first day of spring free ice giveaway.

With Rita's motto, "Ice, custard, happiness," The website says the chain is dedicated to keeping customers coming back for more every spring, even if the temperature outside is 30 degrees.

"It's a little cold for ice today but the sun makes it feel like spring today," says Jennifer Eckhart of Lehighton.

While many folks say it was just too cold to sit outside and eat their Italian ice, many took shelter and sat in the warmth of their car.

But a few others were not going to let the 30 degree temperatures get in the way of their spring and summer tradition.

"It's a sunny nice day outside, so it really doesn't feel that cold for the first day of spring, everyone says it's cold but it's not," says Evan Lindermuth of Jim Thorpe.

"I usually don't like the cold, but it's not too bad, it's tolerable. And you're still going to eat outside? I'm going to enjoy it, pretend that it's nice and warm," says Ashley Wernett of Jim Thorpe.

You can get your free Rita's water ice at any location until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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