Summer’s back with socially distanced ice cream, boating, and beaches

May 18, 2020

As warm temperatures and sunny skies returned to Dartmouth over the weekend, residents hit the town to launch boats, eat ice cream, and enjoy the beach — while following social distancing guidelines.

Many took proper pandemic precautions in order to make the most of their time in the sun, including wearing masks even while cycling, chatting from parked cars, or sending just one family member to order and carry ice cream.

Although most beachgoers did not wear masks, nearly all maintained social distancing, with different family groups clustered together.

Dockside Ice Cream — the first to open out of the town’s independent ice creameries — reopened for the season on May 15, with a lot of changes in place due to the pandemic.

Already, the Padanaram ice cream stand has seen long, socially distanced lines, which delighted owner Melissa Coray.

“We’re just trying to bring a little normalcy to what’s been such a dreadful time for most people,” she said. “And we had such great weather to open to.”

According to Coray, employees are following safety guidelines and practicing precautions like wearing gloves and masks as well as using hand sanitizer. Plexiglass was also installed on the serving window to reduce possible contamination.

Signage requesting customers to stand six feet apart while waiting in line is supplemented by pink tape markers showing where to stand. 

“Sure, the social distancing has slowed things up a little, but things have been very smooth,” Coray said.

Dockside has also made some changes to its menu, offering new foods such as grilled cheese and Coney Island toppings for hot dogs, along with new ice cream/frozen yogurt flavors such as black raspberry and blueberry cheesecake.

Jen Levesque, who visits the ice cream stand every year with her family, said it was just nice to have a sense of normalcy. Levesque said she even forgot she was wearing a mask as she tried to lick some dripping ice cream.

“This made it feel a little more like summer,” she said.