The last time anyone sipped a cold, sweet glass of free lemonade in Bluefield was summer of 2013. Two years without lemonade is a long time for a city known for their summertime tradition. For 77 years, the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce has served free lemonade on the streets when the temperature reaches 90 F.
The unique promotion began in 1939, but the temperature didn’t reach 90 F until 1941. According to the record, the city of Bluefield has served lemonade 220 times in 76 years. The temperature hit 90 degrees 18 times in 2007, but didn’t reach the milestone temperature in 2014 or 2015.
According to the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, the lemonade promotion almost became “extinct” a few times. In 1942, wartime rations limited the amount of sugar and fruit during World War II. Legend has it that the community gave up their ration coupons to make lemonade in July.
Then, there are the controversies. T here was almost a ban “by area religious leaders because of exploiting pretty, young girls as lemonade servers.” In the 50s and 60s, the lemonade lassies wore shorts to serve lemonade. The publicity stunt helped Bluefield make the national newspapers.
Now, that it is summer everyone wants to know if Bluefield will serve lemonade during the summer of 2016? Let the lemonade watch begin!
The free lemonade is served in downtown Bluefield at Chicory Square, Graham Square in downtown Bluefield, Va., Food City in Bluefield, Va., and Cole Harley Davidson in Bluefield. The official temperature is recorded by the National Weather Service at the Mercer County Airport.
This post was last updated on June 15, 2016