After another summer cooled down by Belts’ Soft Serve, the "Home of the Large Cone" sends a farewell to summer and Stevens Point until next spring. The sign read "LAST DAY OF THE SEASON" followed by the last "flavor of the day" of the year: strawberry.
Synchronized lines formed as they did for the past six months, and the seasonal scene of Aaron Rodgers jerseys and carved pumpkins surrounded the soft serve palace. Between the two service windows, five pumpkins with carvings that spelt out B-E-L-T-S followed by a smiling pumpkin rested in front of split corn stalks.
For some, the first day of Belts and the last day are the beginning and end of summer, especially for locals. Don Skowronski and his daughter Stephanie Bishop are from the area and since it opened in 1981, the corner of Church and Division Street has been their place to go for soft serve.
"It’s awesome!" said Bishop when asked what brings her to Belts.
Bishop, who’s favorite flavor is zebra, neglected her lactose intolerance to enjoy the dairy delights of Belts’ Soft Serve. Not only was the father-daughter duo out for Belts’ last day, but Bishop was also taking her father out for his birthday.
Skowronski’s favorite flavor is the PB which he "figured stood for peanut butter," and regardless of what it stands for, he loves it. Skowronski, sitting with an empty plastic cup once filled with Belts’ soft serve, particularly admired the beautiful weather.
"This is exceptionally nice," Skowronski said. "A lot of times it’s much cooler."
Bishop acknowledged that the only two times she went to Belts this year were the opening and closing days. Both Bishop and Skowronski pointed out that they make an effort to visit Belts every once and a while each year.
"We are surprised to see all these college students out!" said Skowronski, after commenting on the homecoming weekend.
Another satisfied customer was Emily Krantz, who goes to Belts for their heath flurry. Krantz, in her fourth year at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, has come to Belts since freshman year with friends.
"I love Belts!" Krantz said. "It’s kind of a long walk, but it’s worth it and we always have fun along the way."
Krantz was just one of several college students who made it out to Belts’ last day after a long homecoming. Sitting with friends, they all laughed at the thought of all that happened over the weekend, saying Belts was the perfect place to reminisce.
"It’s definitely a place college kids like to go, we just need to find a winter version of Belts to hold us over until next year," Krantz said.
Krantz and her college entourage all agreed they hope for a short winter in hopes Belts will re-open sooner rather than later. But rest assured that if you missed the last day, another Belts summer is just a winter away.