You may be familiar with Leopold's Ice Cream on Broughton Street, but you may not know the history of this popular shop. The business was founded in 1919 by three brothers from Greece: George, Peter and Basil. In 2004, Peter's son, Stratton Leopold, along with his wife Mary, opened the Broughton Street location that many are familiar with now.

And while the couple stays busy with Stratton's involvement in the film industry, their service to numerous community organizations and running a very busy ice cream store, the couple always makes sure they are in Savannah each August to celebrate Leopold's Ice Cream's birthday - and this one marks 98 years.

Mary laughs and says the couple is so busy sometimes that they may miss their own birthdays or anniversaries, but they never miss the annual Leopold's Birthday Party.

"We don't miss it," she says. "It's our time to be together - this store is our baby. We want to share that day with everyone. It's our opportunity to say thank you to this wonderful community."

And while the day can be a long one - and it's usually pretty hot outside - Mary says she loves every minute of the celebration. "It's so energizing. ⦠It still amazes me that such a simple business created by hardworking immigrants is so intertwined in this community, touching the lives of so many generations."

So to show their appreciation to the community, Stratton and Mary will host their annual Birthday Block Party to celebrate 98 years of Leopold's Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at their location on 212 E. Broughton St. The streets will be blocked from Lincoln to Abercorn to allow for a true block party experience. The event is free, and ice cream will be for sale at a low 98 cents for single scoops.

The block party features old fashioned games like jump rope, hula hoop, "Stratton Says" and more. Mary describes the scene at the block party as an event like "back in the day; when people had fun in simple ways."

There is music, live entertainment from local dance studios and a dance party. One highlight you don't want to miss is Broughton's Longest Conga Line around 2 p.m. before they cut the always stunning Leopold's birthday cake. They will have live music from Gary Strickland at 4:30 p.m. and the Dixieland Cruisers Classic Car Show is from 4 to 7 p.m.

One big highlight is the chance to win free ice cream for a year by posting photos from the block party with the tag #leopolds98. There will also be an interactive photo booth where you can take and post pics at the party in case you forget your camera.

This year's Kids' Zone is also sponsored by DIRTT, and they will have free arts and crafts, face painting and games for the children.

Live Oak Public Libraries will be on hand with more fun activities for children, and Oatland Island will return with some of their animals for everyone to see.

Since the Leopolds are known for their commitment to give back to the community, it makes sense that they would use the party as a chance to continue to help an organization close to their heart.

According to Carey Ferrara, director of marketing and communications for Leopold's, they will have their usual gift shop open at the store selling T-shirts and a portion of sales will go to Coastal Center for Developmental Services. The center is a nonprofit with a mission to provide employment-related services to adults with developmental disabilities.

Ferrara explains that Leopold's has hired several individuals from the program, and they truly appreciate the center's mission to the community.

"We knew we wanted to give back in some way, so we picked an organization that we were really drawn to."

And if you see a Girl Scout volunteer out and about at the party, be sure to say thank you. Ferrara says they volunteer their entire day to set up, help out and clean up after the event.


What: Leopold's Ice Cream's 98th annual Birthday Block Party

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 19

Where: Leopold's Ice Cream, 212 E. Broughton St.

Cost: Free

Info: Leopold's Ice Cream on Facebook