EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) — Most historic places you visit have very strict no food or drink policies. However, the Historic Ephrata Cloister is willing to bend the rules for a good cause and a good time.
The place “where Ephrata began” will be open on Sunday, August 15, from 1 to 4 p.m. for a summer ice cream social. It will be quite the occasion too, as the cloister hasn’t been open for an event since March of 2020. “We’ve been open for tours since about late may. We have them every weekend Thursday to Sunday. But in terms of events, it has been quite a while,” Sue Fisher of Ephrata Cloister Associates said.
To celebrate the occasion, the ice cream social will feature celebrity dippers including radio host Casey Allyn, journalist Larry Alexander, Ephrata Review Editor Andy Fassnacht, and Akron Mayor John McBeth. “People have been itching to go out and do things, and the hot weather has helped. People have been feeling trapped for so long, now it’s time to start seeing friends again,” Fisher said.
While the ice cream is sure to be gone in minutes, make sure to dedicate some time to explore all the cloister has to offer. There will be guides in historic clothing offering knowledge and info on different structures, a Spinners and Weavers Guild, and live music.
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All proceeds from the day go to supporting educational programs at the cloister such as Community Days for elementary students in the area, and the reinvigoration of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus. “This is just the beginning of events for us. We really hit our stride in the fall and winter, but it’s so important to welcome people back and start out on the right foot,” Fisher said.