Sesquicentennial Swirl: A mouthful in more ways than one
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. – It is no secret that one of the most popular attractions at Ag Expo year in and year out is the free ice cream given away by the Michigan State University Dairy Store. More of a mystery is just how to say one of the available flavors. Sesquicentennial Swirl, a green-tinged cake batter and frosting concoction twists tongues just as often as it tempts taste buds.
Originally created to coincide with Michigan State University’s 150th year (indeed, sesquicentennial means 150-year anniversary) in 2005, the flavor has endured to remain one of the Dairy Store’s most popular flavors. But on to more important matters: just how do you say it? If you sounded it out, it would be more like SES-KWEE-SEN-TEN-EE-UHL.
After donating $5, Rick Wilson grabbed an assortment of flavors for himself and his three sons. Wilson tried his hand at saying the cake batter flavor but always stumbled after SES-KWEE before giving up.
“Shoot,” he said. “I don’t care what it’s called. As long as it’s cold, I’ll eat it.”
Each year at the Ag Expo on the MSU campus, the Dairy Store donates $3,000 worth of ice cream. This year features five flavors: Sesquicentennial Swirl, Vanilla Bean, chocolate, Chocolate Sundae and Strawberry Sundae, and before the three-day event is over more than 6,000 servings of ice cream will have been given out.
John Engstrom, manager of the Dairy Store, said he and his staff look forward to Ag Expo every year.
“We love Ag Expo because we know there is nothing better on a hot summer day than ice cream,” he said. “It is a great gathering for families all over Michigan, and we never get more compliments than the three days during Ag Expo.”
And while Wilson and other Expo-goers said they appreciated the opportunity to grab free ice cream during the scorching, 90-degree heat of the 2011 Ag Expo, their donations are also greatly appreciated. Last year, more than $2,000 was raised for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Endowed Scholarship fund, said Kathryn Reed, assistant director of alumni relations and special events.
Thanks to Ag Expo donations and donations from other university events, there is more than $500,000 in the endowment. And since its creation in 1989 more than 260 scholarships have been awarded.
Ag Expo, sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, continues through 3 p.m., July 21. Admission to the grounds and
parking at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road are free.