On Saturday morning, participants in the fifth annual Lemonade Day in Williston were greeted with cloudy, chilly weather, but that was OK, they would make their own sun, and sell it by the glass.
At dozens of locations throughout the city, kids and their parents set up stands. Some were elaborately built and decorated. Others were simple tables laid out with pitchers and platters of treats.
Some, in deference to the rain that threatened to fall nearly all day, were under tents or canopies. When that didn’t work, the stands were often moved somewhere that offered a bit of cover.
On Main Street, in front of the entrance to Cugini’s Italian Bistro and Fresh Palate, Denli Wendt and Nora and Hannah Dixon had moved their stand under the overhang provided by the sign.
The group had created a unicorn-themed stand. They offered regular lemonade — plain unicorn — or strawberry — strawberry unicorn — as well as a mix of both. They served their drinks with ice dyed purple.
They had miniature pies, as well, both cherry and strawberry, all topped with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles. They called them, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Cutie Pies.”
The group was going to split their proceeds, with half to be donated to the Williston Police Department and half going to them.
One of the goals of Lemonade Day is to teach young people about what it takes to run a business, and another is to instill a sense of responsibility. The national organization recommends participants keep part of their profits and donate part to a charity that matters to them.
Part of running any business is differentiating yourself from your competitors. And when you’re running a lemonade stand, curb appeal is key.
Emma Swift set up her stand on Broadway. She was earning money so she and her siblings could bring their grandmother to visit them this summer.
Her stand was covered in splashes of paint.
“We wanted it to be colorful and different,” she said.
By Renaissance on Main, there were two stands set up. London and Brooklyn Wendt were running Buzzy Bee Lemonade, which offered regular and pink flavors, as well as popcorn and other treats. They were going to make a donation to Mondak Animal Rescue.
Just around the corner, tucked under the overhang of the building, was the stand run by Malcolm, Harlow and Soren Justice. Their stand had a red, white and blue theme, and they had a sign advertising coffee, in addition to lemonade.
“It’s not exactly an amazing day out,” Malcolm said, “but it’s Lemonade Day.”
In front of Sportsman’s Warehouse, Caydin and Cullin Hughes set up Golden Rule-ade. Their stand was different — everything was a free-will donation.
Their offering of chokecherry lemonade won the “Best Tasting” award, and they were raising money to help offset the cost of sending 11 students at the Taekwondo school they attend to a national tournament.
The boys would take breaks from serving lemonade to serve up demonstrations of what they’d learned from taking Taekwondo, breaking boards to impress onlookers.
Many of the stands had a personal touch like that. They weren’t just brightly colored, the themes matched the things the young people running them were passionate about.
Outside of Home of Economy, Braxtyn Emly and Kievyn Waggoner were running the Pokestop, a Pokemon-themed stand.
“It’s fun,” Braxtyn said. “It’s a nice way for us to learn social skills.”