Salem County Residents Ring in Spring at Rita's

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The first day of Spring is an exciting time for many reasons, including warmer weather and flowers starting to bloom. However, thousands know the first day of Spring means one thing.

“Enjoying Rita’s Water Ice,” said Andrea Bourque of Pennsville.

Free water ice that is. For the past 13 seasons, the Plagges have been scooping up free water ice to the many thousands of customers stopping by their Pennsville Rita’s location.

“Typically we give between 2,000 to 3,000 free ices out," said Andy Plagge, co-owner of Rita’s of Pennsville. "But, the last two years in a row we had snow so it’s been about 1,300 to 1,400."  

To prepare for a large volume of customers it’s all about getting the ice ready to go ahead of time and continuing to make it as the day goes on.

“We use a calculation based on the last three years’ average, which is going to be about 2,300 to 2,500," said Plagge. "So, we’ll make enough ice for that. We have about 35 containers of four gallons each."

Nineteen flavors were offered for the first day of Spring. However, as for the co-owners’ little helper, he has his eyes set on one tub of water ice.

“Blue raspberry,” said Ben Plagge, the co-owners’ two-year-old son.

The customers who stopped by the Pennsville shop on Monday, March 20th, made the most out of the variety of flavors offered. As time went by the lines seemed to keep growing, but that didn’t stop anyone from waiting it out for their free water ice.

“We come here every day," said Terry Cox of Pennsville. "I work at the bank next store and we come every day so we figure we might as well get our free one today.”

“It’s definitely perfect weather for water ice; I haven’t had it yet but I know it’ll be good,” said Rachel Clark of Hopewell.

Thanks to Mother Nature, customers were able to wait in warm weather at Rita’s locations across South Jersey to grab their first bite of water ice of the season. 

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