After a drawn out winter and much anticipation, warm weather finally arrives - and with it seasonal amenities: swimming, camping, lounging on the Susquehanna, shorts, sandals and spaghetti straps and, of course, Little League.
But for the tastebuds, frozen treats rise back up from the depths of our freezers.
Frozen yogurt, Italian ice, popsicles and good old-fashioned ice cream serve as a pastime and a way of keeping cool during Pennsylvania heat waves.
Seasonal ice cream shops in the area tend to open their doors for business again right around the start of spring.
And on the first warm day of the year, you'll likely see lines of residents who all had the same idea of fulfilling their hankering for a scoop of their favorite flavor, at the ice cream shop of choice.
To the delight of those with a sweet tooth, the greater Williamsport area has several different frozen dessert establishments, whether a chain or a unique-to-central Pennsylvania shop, dairy, parlor, eatery or creamery, to choose from.
Although there are many, it seems to really come down to two locally-owned businesses when it comes to area folks' favorite: Eder's and Sunset Ice Cream. Both have been a staple to the area for decades.
On both of their Facebook pages sentimental memories, photos and anecdotes are shared from people near and far. With an old ice cream shop, there certainly is a humble sense of nostalgia.
Corina Chase, on Sunset's page: "My father Charlie Prentiss hand painted all their signs. Whenever I see a Sunset Ice Cream sign I think of Dad Miss him & Love the Sunset Ice Cream memories."
Carin Casale Frantz, on Sunset's page: "Sunset was my very first job. I miss your delicious ice cream. When I worked there my favorites were teaberry, chocolate malt and choc cherry."
Mary Capwell Michaud, on Eder's page: "I had a wonderful friend who at 90 yrs of age always had to have Eders ice cream in her freezer."
EDER'S ICE CREAM
In late April, on its Facebook page, the Sun-Gazette posed the question: "If someone asks where to get the best scoop of ice cream, where do you tell them to go?"
Eder's Ice Cream, 2242 Route 87 Highway, five minutes north of Montoursville, appeared to be recommended the most.
Why? Well, it seems that ice cream itself is somehow embedded in the family DNA.
The shop, a place where some claim "the inside never changes," has been operated by the same family for generations, since 1927.
But history and tradition alone can't hold a good reputation.
They have some darn good ice cream - and it's all made "right here on the spot," Tye Eder Sheets said, adding that they've been doing it that way for 13 years.
Sheets was featured in a photo on the cover of a Sun-Gazette feature on Eder's in 2007, pouring chocolate syrup into an ice cream-making machine. Then 13, now he's 20.
"I started out sweeping out in front of the store when I was 4 and actually started making the ice cream when I was 7," he said.
That kind of long-term dedication to ice cream is likely what makes Eder's so nom-nom worthy.
For the summer, Sheets said the amount of flavors they have has increased. Coming soon: chocolate peanut butter banana and also peanut butter pretzel ice cream flavors.
Sheets, although ironically lactose intolerant, enjoys the cherry garden flavor.
Also on the menu, (according to www.edersicecream.com) in addition to traditional flavors, are flavors like "finger lickin good," "morning buzz," "chocolate peanut butter cup dough" and "vanetzel."
The only complaint on their Facebook page? "Please put more cookie dough in your (cookie dough) ice cream."
SUNSET ICE CREAM
Sunset Ice Cream, 2062 Lycoming Creek Road, was a close second to the top recommendation for where to get the best scoop.
They might not make the ice cream on the spot in the shop, but Sunset-brand ice cream is made not too far off, on Shumbat Lane, right off of Lycoming Creek Road, "in a warehouse behind CVS," according to Lycoming Creek Road-location Sunset Ice Cream employee Cadie Williams, of DuBoistown.
It just so happens that Sunset Ice Cream is the largest independent ice cream dealer in Pennsylvania; so claims the "guy-in-the-warehouse," John Fritz, owner and ice cream maker since Sunset's founding 38 years ago (1976).
"We have 32 stores that we sell to; mom-and-pop stores and ice cream bars," Fritz, a native of Williamsport, said. Sunset locations can be found as far as Gettysburg, and are easily identified by their retro-looking logo that features "Sunset" written in red and orange cursive, usually followed by "ICE CREAM PARLOR."
Sunset makes 50 flavors in all, with the Lycoming Creek Road location selling 36 of those 50.
When asked if there were any new flavors being made for the summer, Fritz said no, because with 50 flavors already on the menu, there's "no more room in the freezers."
There are seasonal flavors, however. Winner said the shop just got in watermelon around Memorial Day.
"Things have been going great. Over this past winter it was a lot busier than expected, being new, and it's starting to pick up now that its summer," Winner said.
"Being new" meant the new location. The Williamsport shop moved from 1849 Lycoming Creek Road to 2062 in October.
Another Sunset Ice Cream shop location opened at 519 Route 87 Highway, Montoursville, in March.
Additionally, Sunset Ice Cream can be found at Long Island Pizza in the Hepburn Street Plaza and at Tanya's / Dance Plus, 348 Broad St., Montoursville.
Other local locations for a frozen treat, include (but are not limited to) the following:
Carvel, 1801 E. Third St.
Bruster's, 1600 E. Third St.
Ritas Water Ice, 1849 E. Third St.
Sky High Frozen Yogurt, 1879 E. Third St.
Dairy Queen, 606 Hastings St., South Williamsport; 3234 Woodward Ave., Avis.
Happy Acres Resort, 3332 Little Pine Creek Road, Waterville.
Sweet Frog, 1930 Lycoming Creek Road; 328 Market St., Lewisburg.
Harvest Moon Restaurant, 7468 S. Route 220 Highway, Linden.
IDK restaurant, 318 Wilson St., Jersey Shore.
Ice Cream and More, 808 N. Mill St., Loganton.
Lil' Half Pint, 2206 S. Main St., Mansfield.
Avenue 209 Coffee House, 209 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven.
Ice Shack, 104 N. Water St., Mill Hall.
Weaver's Ice Cream, 249 Graylyn Crest Drive, New Columbia.
Lewisburg Freez, 242 N. Derr Drive, Lewisburg.
Becky's Soft Serve, 7880 Route 405, Milton.
Purple Cow, 4716 Old Turnpike Road, Lewisburg.