Jul. 15—Rusty's Custard Factory will return this weekend with its annual celebration of National Ice Cream Day, but this year, the shop is also marking a special milestone.
Games, custard specials, live music and a new charity dunk tank will start at 6 p.m. July 17 on Main Street in Norman, and end July 18 at 8 p.m. The celebration will recognize both the ice cream holiday and the Custard Factory's 20th anniversary.
Pinot's Palette, in a new collaboration with Rusty's, will offer $20 painting classes at the event. Those interested can register online.
Custard Factory owner Rusty Rasmussen and his company have celebrated National Ice Cream Day every year the shop has been open. The event has only continued to grow in size in the Norman community, Rasmussen said.
"We have the opportunity to make it a multi-day event through our birthday party, which normally happens in the spring, but we couldn't do it with COVID this year," Rasumssen said. "So we were able to push it back, and now we're having a two-day party instead of just the one-day National Ice Cream Day."
The Custard Factory hasn't been able to include local nonprofits in the celebration in the past, but Rasmussen said he's excited to have the opportunity to involve them now.
"One of the benefits of being engaged in the community was our ability to give back. I thought it would be fun," Rasmussen said. "Who doesn't want to dunk the ice cream guy, or the head of Big Brothers Big Sisters or the United Way? It's just a way to make it fun. And ice cream is fun anyway, but if we could have weird things that we could do to bring in more customers and make it an awesome day, then we were going to do it ."
Rasmussen expects this celebration will be the first stepping stone to getting charities more regularly involved in Custard Factory-related events.
"We hope that our fans will come down and get involved with the community and local businesses while they're celebrating National Ice Cream Day," he said. "They could grab dinner at Das Boot Camp or Nashbird, or something like that. They can make the event last a whole day.
"Last year, we had a line out of our doors from noon to 9 p.m., so I'm not sure what to be expecting this year. That was the busiest day we ever had. I'm just trying to have fun though, and give our community something to rally around."