CARTHAGE — Fernando Riordan was buying and selling vehicles when he came across an ice cream truck, and he decided to turn it into a business to make the Panola County community smile.

“It had ice cream in it already, and the guy was like, ‘Well you can sell it if you want to,’ so I was like, ‘Why not?’ and I did it, and it was so much fun, and I was like, ‘Well let me just go ahead and keep it,’ so I decided to keep it,” he said.

Riordan said he loves making people happy with his ice cream truck.

“Seeing how happy it makes not just the kids, but the adults as well. There was a guy, probably my age that was chasing after the ice cream truck the other day and it was hilarious,” he said. “And then springing back, something that used to be really popular, and people, they say, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen an ice cream truck for years,’ and it’s kind of sad, but the ice cream business is kind of dying out, and so it’s neat to kind of bring it back alive.”

Riordan teaches hip hop and breakdancing on the side.

“I was teaching at the YMCA in Shreveport, and then when the whole pandemic happened, I ended up moving out here ‘cause of the coronavirus,” he said. “I lost a lot of clientele because of that, ‘cause it’s interactive. But I’m gonna start something new coming up in about a month, and we’re gonna start doing dance competitions, and I’m gonna start dance classes back up for this area.”

Classic Ice Cream doesn’t just go around the community selling ice cream — it’s also available for events.

“I incorporate the dancing with it, so for just $125, that’s the first package, we come out and we dance,” Riordan said. “We do dance competitions. We do like a hula hoop competition, and then we do a limbo, ... and it’s a lot of fun. We try to make it more than just coming out and bringing ice cream.”

Riordan likes to do contests. This past week, he did one where people could get free ice cream for finding his truck — there’s a smartphone app that can track it.

“It’s called Glimpse and they can follow us and see where we’re at, so they don’t have to be waiting outside in the heat or they don’t have to be waiting outside in the cold, they can see when we’re gonna pop up on their screens,” he said.

With Riordan’s birthday coming up Feb. 18, he decided to do a buy-one, get-one-free special for the day — all you have to do is wish him happy birthday if you find his truck.

“It’s neat that I’m able to help the community out, and it’s just something new that the community didn’t have before, and so I saw how excited people got about it, and it made me excited, and it made us excited, and so we decided to continue it, and I’ve just been kind of learning along the way,” he said.

The Classic Ice Cream truck can be found on Facebook under the name Classic Ice Cream and on Instagram under the handle @ClassicIceCream2020. Call Riordan at (318) 401-7887 for event inquiries.

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