Food & Drink

End of an era: Final Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour location closes

47 years ago, 22 people died in Farrell’s plane crash (September 1972)

On Sept. 24, 1972, a restored Korean War-era jet lost control on a runway at Executive Airport in Sacramento during an air show, skidded across Freeport Boulevard, crashed into the popular Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor and killed 22 people.
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On Sept. 24, 1972, a restored Korean War-era jet lost control on a runway at Executive Airport in Sacramento during an air show, skidded across Freeport Boulevard, crashed into the popular Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor and killed 22 people.

For some, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour is a place of nostalgia: for first jobs, birthdays and childhoods. There will be no new nostalgia coming of age: The last Farrell’s location has closed in Brea, just north of Anaheim, the Orange County Register reported. Though there was no official announcement about the closure, a Facebook post June 8 said the lights were out and people were crowded outside the closed shop.

In the Sacramento area, Farrell’s is synonymous with a tragic memory. On Sept. 24, 1972, a Korean War-era F-86 Sabre attempted to lift off from the Sacramento Executive Airport but instead crashed into the Farrell’s across the street. Twelve children and 10 adults were killed when the jet was unable to get airborne.

The tragedy raised awareness for the lack of burn-treatment facilities in Sacramento. After a successful fundraising mission by the Sacramento Fire Department and Firefighters Local 522, the Firefighters Burn Institute was established, the Bee reported on the 40th anniversary of the crash. The institute was dedicated Dec. 21, 1973.

The Crossroads shopping center where the destroyed Farrell’s was located was also replaced by the Sacramento Public Safety Center in 2002, and a memorial park was built where Farrell’s front door used to be, the Bee reported.

A Farrell’s location opened in Sacramento on Watt Ave in 2013, but it closed in 2016 after failing to secure a new lease.

The second-to-last location, which was in Buena Park and was featured on the CNBC show “The Profit,” closed Dec. 30. The location was losing $10,000 to $12,000 a month, investor Marcus Lemonis told the Register. Lemonis still owns the brand and concept and said he may consider reviving it when the time is right.

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Jaimie Ding, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee with an interest in politics and international relations. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington.
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