Minnesota Moment: Free Ice Cream for 4th of July

July 04, 2018 10:31 PM

Drive through any Minnesota neighborhood and you'll see chairs in the streets, sparklers in hands and smiles on faces.

But there's one Apple Valley neighborhood that's celebrating the people who make up their community on Independence Day.

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The Fourth of July is all about traditions, and this neighborhood has come to count on two of them: Block parties and free ice cream.

RELATED: Attendees of Minnesota's Oldest, Largest 4th of July Parade Remember Holiday's True Meaning

Jan Cassada has been handing out free soft serve cones to anyone and everyone for the last four years.

"We were challenged to do something in the community where you expect nothing in return," Cassada said.

The mission of good neighboring has become an Independence Day institution -- and not just for the Cassadas.

"We've enjoyed the neighborhood. We were just like great free dessert," Tricia Hovick said.

It's not just neighbors who have a taste for the free treats. More than 200 people swing by for a bite every year.

Cassada said they'll even flag down folks who are walking down for the fireworks show.

"Nobody thinks anything is free, but on Independence Day ice cream is free," Cassada said. "At least here it is."

"The best ice cream of the summer," Hovick said.

RELATED: Neighbors Should be Aware of Veterans with PTSD on 4th of July

In fact, it's so good, folks have offered to pay for it.

"We won't take anything. It's our gift to the community. It's just so much fun for us to do it," Cassada said.

But Cassada wants everyone to walk away with more than just a free cone and a smile on their face.

"I just see people being kind to each other," Cassada said.

"Be a neighbor. Be neighborly and talk to your neighbors, get to know people around you because I think that just really draws us together as a nation."

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