Thanks to President Ronald Reagan, today is the day to head straight to the nearest Marble Slab, Dairy Queen or Braum’s and get a big scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream as part of National Ice Cream Day.

This obscure but sweet holiday was designated in 1984 when Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.

“It’s a great treat for the summer,” said Lorena Bradley, assistant manager at Marble Slab Creamery in Waxahachie. “The best part is seeing the kids come in. We can make pretty much anything.”

Although kids enjoy the sweet treat, ice cream also provides a sense of nostalgia for adults — memories of homemade ice cream on the back porch on a warm summer’s day instantly emerge with one taste of creamy vanilla.

When Reagan decided to proclaim July as National Ice Cream Month, research showed that 90 percent of the United States population enjoyed ice cream. Reagan encouraged citizens to observe National Ice Cream Month and Day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

In Waxahachie, it’s only appropriate to forget about the diet and enjoy a huge scoop (or two) of sweet ice cream.

Marble Slab Creamery in Waxahachie offers 21 different flavors of ice cream, some of which come and go with the seasons. Flavors include Sweet Cream, Cheesecake, Amaretto, Strawberry, Apple ‘n’ Spice, Black Walnut, Double Dark Chocolate and many, many others. Along with these flavors, patrons get the chance to add any of the 30 mixins — including fruit, chocolate chip cookie dough, sprinkles, gum balls, marshmallows, nuts and favorite candy bar pieces.

A favorite ice cream combined with a mixin can be placed in a bowl, or a homemade waffle cone hand-dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Marble Slab Creamery also makes other ice cream products, such as shakes and malts, sundaes, banana splits and ice cream cakes.

Marble Slab is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores provide ice cream lovers with 27 flavors of ice cream, three flavors of frozen yogurt, six mixes and waffle or cake cones. Braum’s can also create a Double Dip Sundae — such as hot fudge, hot caramel, buttered pecan, chocolate marshmallow or German chocolate — or a Fancy Sundae —strawberry shortcake, cappuccino caramel, brownie fudge or banana split.

“There’s a big variety of flavors and there’s always something new,” Janel Kiser, manager of the Waxahachie Braum’s, said of the store’s ice cream selection.

Braum’s is open from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, allowing plenty of time for hardcore ice cream enthusiasts to have a sundae breakfast before Sunday school or church.

Although Sno Biz serves snow cones, customers have the option to add scoops of Blue Bell Ice Cream to their snow cone of any flavor, creating a Texas Split.

“It’s cool,” Felicia Snell of Waxahachie said of why she liked ice cream. Snell, executive director for Common Ground Ministries, spent Friday preparing for a garage sale for the organization and brought three of her young helpers to Sno Biz for a treat. “We just got done moving stuff, so the first thing we thought of was, ‘Let’s go get a snow cone’.”

Sno Biz is open from 1-9:30 p.m. today.

Most Texans share a special love for Dairy Queen and a passion for the restaurant’s soft serve. Dairy Queen’s soft serve can be blended with candy bar pieces in a Blizzard, served in a waffle bowl or topped with fruit or chocolate for a sundae.

Don’t go another National Ice Cream Day without celebrating — get out the old ice cream maker and pull out your mother’s favorite ice cream recipe. Or, venture to one of the many locations that serve ice cream and splurge.

After all, National Ice Cream Day only comes once a year.

E-mail Mandy at mandy.bourgeois@waxahachiedailylight.com