Taking flight: Columbia's cicada ice cream story spreads its wings

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 10:44 a.m. CDT; updated 12:08 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Missourian's story about Sparky's cicada flavored ice cream is making almost as much noise as the cicadas themselves. Thanks to a tip from reader Watts Rozell on our Facebook page, we learned about a cool search tool called "Google"and were able to see just how far our opus about insect ice cream has traveled. The results? Almost as delicious as a waffle cone full of Sparky's next entomological delight.

Like "The Hangover 2," we've taken our game to the next level and gone international, though reports of the story's author, Melissa Klauda, getting a replica of Mike Tyson's face tattoo are unconfirmed.

If you've seen the story somewhere that's not on this list, post it in the comments here, share it on our Facebook page or tweet us @CoMissourian. While you're there, don't forget to like the Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.


An update and clarification ...

No roundup of media coverage of the cicada ice cream would be complete without a mention of how misinformation has spread on this issue. Unfortunately, an Associated Press rewrite of the Missourian's original story mischaracterized the communication between Sparky's and the health department. Many of the links now circulating say that Sparky's was told not to make more ice cream. The stories have headlines such as "Public health official bugs out over cicada ice cream," "Missouri cicada ice cream vendor told to cool it" and "Health officials nix cicada ice cream." None of those are accurate. Sparky's told us that they sought advice from the health department and decided on their own not to make another batch of ice cream.

Once the Missourian alerted the AP to its error, a new story was sent out on the wire. Unfortunately, most news outlets picked up the first story and didn't ever correct it.

And now for the links ...


International News Outlets

The Daily Mail (U.K.), and we'll forgive the extra 'U'  in "Cicada flavour."

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (New Zealand)


National News Outlets

Time Magazine






The Washington Times featured the story in its "Nation Briefs" section.


Missouri News Outlets

KMOV in St. Louis made a video

Kansas City Star (though the headline is incorrect)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

KSDK in St. Louis

Fox2 in St. Louis

Fox4 in Kansas City

KSHB in Kansas City

KY3, in Springfield


A Neighborhood Near You

Sarasota Herald Tribune, in Sarasota, Fla.

Fox29 in Philadelphia

KTRK, in Houston

WTVY, in Dothan, Ala.

WTMA, in Charleston, S.C.


Reports from the field

Through our Facebook page (have you liked it yet?),  Melissa Klauda said her parents saw it on CNN.

Through Twitter, we received the following reports:

From @reneehulsof: "@CoMissourian listener saw it on the Today show. LOL cicada story buzzing everywhere..."

From @mikebrannen: "CNN had video of it. I've seen producers in Austin, TX, Fort. Launderdale, FL, and here in Seattle mention it."

From @kerrimroberts: "My friends in California saw it online on Fox and reposted it on Facebook."

From @jbjaksn: "I just tweeted about this! It was in the Newspress up in St. Joe, MO."

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Mike Bellman June 8, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

The Missourian & Sparky's threw the Health Department under the bus and it's gone national through comissourian's AP Wire link. I hope that the positive publicity Sparky's gets outweighs the negative publicity Columbia Health Dept has gotten across the nation.

(Report Comment)
Harry Plumer June 8, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

Hey everyone, this is Harry Plumer, I compiled the links for this story, and I want to shout out to some more folks for tweeting @CoMissourian. We appreciate all your help and support!

@amysimons pointed out that the story has made its way to to the Chicago Sun Times ( and KCTV in Kansas City (

@BeazlRock and @llindsey207 heard the story mentioned on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom show, which is heard in mid-Missouri on 96.7 KCMQ.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer June 8, 2011 | 11:22 a.m.

Mike, we talked to AP yesterday morning about their incorrect rewrite of our story. They quickly sent a revised story out on the wire, but unfortunately the incorrect version was what mostly traveled.

Was there something incorrect in our story?

— Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer June 8, 2011 | 12:07 p.m.

The story now includes a clarification.
— Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)

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