Who’s ready for the fair?

The Western Montana Fair returns to Missoula next week, and at 9 and 11 years old, my kids have high hopes that this year they will be big enough to ride all the rides. They’re already plotting a plan to spend an entire day at the fair riding all the rides, seeing all the exhibits and of course, eating all the food.

This morning I got an email concerning one food vendor in particular. I’m copying it below in its entirety so you too can include it in your fair planning:


Continuing a tradition started in 2012, A Carousel for Missoula will be a food vendor at the Western Montana Fair.  From August 9-14, volunteers from the Carousel will join with staff from Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream to sell Baskin-Robbins ice cream scoops, milkshakes, Cappuccino Blasts, Root Beer Floats, Iced Lattes, Homemade Waffle Cones, Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches, and more.  The location of the new Baskin-Robbins trailer will be on the East end of the food concession midway.

A Carousel for Missoula and Missoula’s locally-owned Baskin-Robbins have been partners since before the Carousel’s inception in 1995, through birthday parties, donations, and sponsorships.  As always, Baskin-Robbins will donate a percentage of their sales at the Western Montana Fair to A Carousel for Missoula, in addition to their 17% contribution to the Western Montana Fair.

A Carousel for Missoula invites all carousel supporters and ice cream lovers to stop by the Carousel’s ice cream trailer at this year’s fair; Support a Carousel for Missoula by buying some of the world’s greatest ice cream!


Built to provide the community of Missoula a new option for good, old-fashioned fun, the Carousel continues to entertain children (and adults) in Missoula with rides on the beautifully-crafted horses, as well as with family-friendly events.  Whether helping children celebrate their special day or seeing families come together for a little playtime, A Carousel for Missoula is happy to be a strong part of Missoula’s rich history.


Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts (and brothers-in-law) whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,200 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats.  In Missoula, Baskin-Robbins has been owned by Big Sky High School and University of Montana graduate Matt Loomis, along with David and Beverly Loomis, since 2001.  Each year, thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours are given back to Missoula nonprofits.

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Have your ice cream for breakfast and Super Bowl too

The Children’s Museum Missoula is hosting its fifth annual Ice Cream for Breakfast this Sunday, Feb. 1., and don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to eat ice cream AND catch the Super Bowl kick-off. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Ice cream will be served from 9 a.m. t0 11 a.m. at the Wilma Theatre downtown. There will be a complete ice cream buffet, including waffles and bacon. There will also be Mismo Gymnastics on hand to offer tumbling and Childbloom Guitar music provided. For quieter morning types, a family-friendly movie will be playing in the small theater.

While the children’s museum is always happy to accept donations, this event is 100 percent free and open to all families, thanks to the sponsorship of these fine local businesses: The Wilma Theatre, ZillaState, Mismo Gymnastics, Childbloom Guitar, Zoo City Apparel, Black Coffee Roasting Company, Scotty’s Table, Posh Chocolat and Big Dipper Ice Cream.

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Ice Cream for Breakfast. Why not?

Here’s a short list of desserts I’ve served my kids for breakfast:

Cake. Pie. Milkshakes.

What’s the difference between those and a donut? Nothing that I can see. Just this morning in the Missoulian newsroom we were talking about wanting chocolate for breakfast. Not even on anything. Just … chocolate.

One thing I’ve never served for the morning meal is straight-up ice cream. I guess you could count the milkshake, but that had a banana in it, just so you know.

There’s an opportunity to cross ice cream off the list of non-breakfast foods coming up on Sunday, Feb. 2. That’s the day the Children’s Museum Missoula and Families First is hosting its fourth annual Ice Cream for Breakfast event, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Billed as a “community-wide family fun event for a celebration of all things Ice Cream,” those who turn out will get to enjoy not only an ice cream buffet stocked with sundae toppings, but pancakes and bacon besides.

The thoughtful folks at Families First understand that all that sugar intake has to be burned off somehow, so they’re bringing in Mismo to offer some gymnastics and the Whizpops to offer some live music to dance to.

Or, practice keeping quiet and still while watching a family friendly movie in the little theater.

Thanks to the generosity of a host of sponsors, the even is free and open to all families.

Those sponsors are: The Wilma Theatre, Rocky Mountain Development Group, ZillaState, Mismo Gymnastics, The Whizpops, Black Coffee Roasting Company, Scotty’s Table, and Big Dipper Ice Cream.


Eat ice cream, help build an emergency shelter for kids

Watson Children’s Shelter is the emergency shelter for children who have been removed from their families, usually because of drugs, domestic violence or other problems no kid should be exposed to.

As most Missoulians are aware by now, the shelter is nearing the finish line for its capital campaign to raise money for a new building. The shelter can only take so many kids at a time, and has had to turn some children away in the past. The new shelter is being planned to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.

This morning I got a press release from Missoula Baskin Robbins owner Matt Loomis, who announced that his ice cream store on Brooks Street will be hosting its first-ever Watson Children’s Shelter Night on Monday, June 28 from 5-10 p.m. On that night, the store will donate 100 percent of its profits to Watson’s.

This will be the first time I’ve ever marked my calendar to visit an ice-cream store.

– MM

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Ice cream for breakfast

My son and I were going to go fishing on Mother’s Day. It’s a theme of sorts – the year I moved to Montana, he got me a set of waders, to underscore the fact that by sheer virtue of living here, I was going to be a fly fisher(wo)man.

This year, we took one look at the rivers and decided, pretty much as we have every May, that maybe the best way to catch fish was to go out for sushi. After which, he got me an ice cream cone. Between that and a phone call from his sister, Kate, who lives in Denver, I was about as happy as a mom could be. More to the point, the ice cream treat reminded me of when the kids were little, and their idea of the fanciest possible breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day was ice cream in a pretty little glass dish. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

I love the grown-up dinners and the grown-up conversations we have now on Mother’s Day, but I confess to missing those early-morning everything-bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good breakfasts, the hushed giggling outside the bedroom door, the spills on the steps. And I also catch myself wondering: Why should ice cream for breakfast be limited to Mother’s Day? Wouldn’t the best way for me to honor my children’s most excellent idea, lo those many years ago, be to sneak a predawn dish every now and then, hmmmm? Talk about starting the day with a smile!

Gwen Florio

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