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Scoop: Super Bowl Sunday in Pierre now means SDSU ice cream (and sometimes Valentines)

February 5, 2018 GMT

A slide projected on the wall of the activity room in the Cultural Heritage Center on Sunday featured a Dutch-themed card from the 1940s, which showed a man sitting in a giant clog: “Wooden shoe be my Valentine?”

The slide was one of several images providing a backdrop for folks who visited the center to craft Valentines out of various beads, pipe cleaners, clay medallions and ribbons. But separate from the craft work, in the lobby of the center, were tables set up for sampling three different flavors of ice cream – chocolate, butter brickle and berry berry.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Aurora Duval went for chocolate. All three flavors came from South Dakota State University’s manufacturing facility in Brookings. Samantha Olmstead, who was making a double-hearted Valentine with an arrow through both – for her husband – said she was from Minnesota, so the idea of ice cream in the winter was “heaven.”

Sunday’s Valentine making and ice cream eating counted as one of the regular monthly Family Fun events hosted by the center. Some months have recurring themes – October is traditionally a chance to craft a pheasant. A new wrinkle this fall for pheasant makers – the birds they make will fly in some sense.

Holding February’s event on Super Bowl Sunday and serving SDSU ice cream has become somewhat of a tradition, according to Ronette Rumpca, who’s a curator at the center.

Rumpca told the Capital Journal that about six years ago, the first one was planned for the same date as the Super Bowl, and she was a little concerned about turnout. But the start times for the Cultural Heritage Center’s event (1 p.m.) and the Super Bowl (in the evening) meant the two weren’t really competing with each other.

After the first one, Rumpca said, they’ve stuck with Super Bowl Sunday for February’s monthly Family Fun event.

The crafting is supposed to help people get through the lull between the holidays and the start of warmer weather Rumpca said. The first February craft event included Valentine making led by Don Hotalling, who was superintendent of Stanley County Schools at the time – and a former artist with Hallmark. But it’s not always Valentines in February, she said. Last year the theme was snowflakes.

Ice cream wasn’t added to the February event until the second year – back in 2012. The connection that year was to an exhibit at the museum called “Our South Dakota.” SDSU’s famous ice cream was featured in the exhibit, so she invited Howard Bonnemann of the Dairy Science Department at SDSU to visit Pierre.

She asked if Bonnemann could bring along some SDSU ice cream. (The SDSU web page listing of around 30 locations across the state where the ice cream can be purchased does not include any in the Pierre area.)

Bonnemann brought the frozen goodness. It was so popular that from then on SDSU ice cream was a part of February’s family fun, Rumpca said.

This year the ice cream was scooped out for visitors by volunteers Tom and Barb Sogaard. But it wasn’t the Sogaards who traveled to Brookings to pick up the ice cream. As Tom Sogaard put it – to make clear how tasty SDSU ice cream is: “It never would have made it from Brookings to here, if I were in charge of it.”

That task fell to Peter Kleinpass, who’s another curator at the museum. He assured the Capital Journal he picked up three three-gallon tubs in Brookings and arrived in Pierre with three three-gallon tubs.