Through the cold and rain, 53 people camped outside Cold Stone Creamery to get free ice cream for a year during the grand opening event.
Junior economics major Andrew Pajela got to Cold Stone around 10:00 p.m. Friday. Pajela said there were already three people in line in front of him.
Pajela said he slept on a bench, while other students slept in a tent.
“[The temperature] was really cold up until four, and then I fell asleep and woke up when it was storming,” he said. “[The weather] got really bad.”
Cold Stone Creamery owner Tim Moriarty said he thought no one would be waiting in line the night before and morning of the grand opening because of the bad weather.
“I’m extremely grateful that people would take that initiative and sit through [the bad weather] for free ice cream,” Moriarty said.
The 27th camper, Jill Davis, said she stayed in front of a building that did not have an awning, so when the rain came, Davis and her roommates moved over to McAlister’s Deli.
“More people started showing up and the rain lightened up so my roommates and I moved back, closer in line,” the junior communication studies major said.
During the night, the campers played Apples to Apples, Taboo and Uno to occupy their time, Davis said.
There were no feuds or shoving for a closer spot in line during the event, she said.
“There was a camaraderie between us folk who have been here since the wee hours of the morning,” Davis said.
The original announcement was the first 50 people in line would get free ice cream for a year, but there were 53 people in line when the doors opened.
Moriarty said he and his wife felt the three extra people who braved the cold weather should get free ice cream for a year as well.
A raffle ticket was given to the people who came and celebrated the Cold Stone grand opening. The raffles were drawn throughout the day, and three $150 Visa gift cards, 50 more free ice creams for a year, $5 and $10 Cold Stone gift cards and coupons were being raffled, Moriarty said.
At Cold Stone, Moriarty said ice cream is thrown around and the employees sing for tips.
“Cold Stone in general is a just a fun, upbeat place to come to,” Moriarty said.