Two blizzards hit Detroit Lakes on Saturday, Jan. 18: a cold, snowy one, and a tasty, ice cream one.
After a snowstorm hit Detroit Lakes Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, Lee Kensinger, the owner of Detroit Lakes' Dairy Queen, decided to offer free small DQ Blizzard treats to everyone that helped remove snow for someone else.
"I was driving into work, amazed at how clear the roads were. There was people everywhere snow plowing, snow blowing, shoveling," Kensinger said. "I just thought, 'you know, everybody's working their butt off. Come in.'"
Kensinger let the word out through a post on Facebook, inviting "snow heroes" to come to DQ in DL for a free Blizzard Saturday, starting at noon. "Snow heroes" included anyone who removed snow for someone else, tow truck drivers, firefighters, police officers, EMTs and more.
"They just basically had to come in and say that they had done it and there you go, you had a free small Blizzard for that day," said Shelly Knudsen, an assistant manager at DQ. "He (Kensinger) just wanted to give thanks to everybody and that was the way that he could do it."
There were no restrictions on what kind of Blizzard people could get, only that it was a size small. Knudsen and Kensinger weren't worried about running out of supplies either; they had just gotten a large shipment of products for their upcoming Fan Appreciation Day on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
"During the day we had some (customers) that had stopped in when they took a break (from shoveling)," Knudsen said. "During the evening it was a little bit busier."
By the end of the day, Kensinger believed they had given away "about 100" free Blizzards, he said. That wasn't as many as he expected to give out, but Kensinger also didn't expect the action to get the response that it did. The Facebook post he shared has more than 1,000 likes, almost 700 shares, and 181 positive comments.
"We really have a great community both for helping each other out and supporting the community," Kensinger said. "This was kind of our way for thanking all the people in the community."