Have you ever had a dilly bar? It’s an iconic Dairy Queen novelty treat that consists of a disc of soft serve coated in hardened chocolate (or cherry or butterscotch candy) served on a stick. On a hot summer day I could probably eat ten of them. Or, I don’t know, maybe one GIANT one like the world’s largest Dilly Bar in Moorhead, Minnesota.
The Dilly Bar was invented in 1955 at the Moorhead Dairy Queen in Minnesota. According to local legend, co-owner Robert Litherland dipped a round of soft serve in chocolate, held it high, and declared, “Now, isn’t that a dilly?” And thus, the classic Dilly Bar was born.
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Though the novelty ice cream bar is now served in Dairy Queen franchises nationwide, that can’t be said of everything served at the Fargo-Moorhead location. This particular franchise has a 70-year old contract (signed in 1949) that allows them to serve off-menu, discontinued, and rogue items in addition to DQ approved cuisine.
That means that they can serve food, both sweet and savory, that is available no where else. You can get extinct items like the Mr. Malty (a frozen chocolate malt on a stick) and Monkey Tails (a frozen chocolate covered banana on a stick) along with distinct items like Polish sausages and Q-Dogs (a hot dog topped with a sloppy-Joe like BBQ).
But above all else, if you’re going to order anything at the Moorhead Dairy Queen, you should order a Dilly Bar and pay respect to its beginnings. And, what better way to enjoy your frozen soft serve ice cream bar that to eat it in the shade of a giant version of the same!
In August 2017 the Moorhead Dairy Queen honored their legacy by installing a 12-foot tall world’s largest Dilly Bar on their patio. Now visitors can enjoy their dilly bars next to a giant dilly bar and Minnesota roadside attraction.
Now, isn’t that a dilly?
World’s Largest Dilly Bar
Address: Dairy Queen, 24 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN
Open: March 1 (regardless of weather) – the end of October.
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 10:30pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am – 10:30pm
Spring and Fall Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm, Daily
Cost: Free to See (Ice cream and food costs vary)
Looking for more of the world’s largest things in Minnesota? Be sure to check out the World’s Largest “Booming” Prairie Chicken in Rothsay, Otto The Otter in Fergus Falls, and the giant spoonbridge and cherry in Minneapolis, all off I-94.