Saturday is the official start of Spring.A sure sign Spring is here? All five Gifford Ice Cream stands in Maine opened for the season Friday.Meghan Hayward caught up with the folks at Giffords in Bangor as they served up some ice cream.Manager Rhonda Charette has been opening the Giffords in Bangor since 1989.But she says this is the first year she’s been able to do that without a jacket on.”There have been seasons where we’ve worked on the flavor board in snowstorms, freezing rain and ice. Once in awhile we’ll get some sunshine, but never anything like this year. It’s been wonderful.”The Gifford family’s roots in the New England dairy industry go back to the late 1800s. They first came to Maine in 1980.Their ice cream has been a popular treat for Mainers since.”Giffords sells itself, the quality of the ice cream. People just love coming to get their ice cream cones and spending the time outside with their family. It’s a family time.”Charette says the prices have remained the same this year, and they’ve added three new flavors.”We have Butter Almond which is a buttery ice cream with almonds. We have Cherry Amaretto Chocolate which is an amaretto flavored ice cream with cherries and a fudge swirl. Chocolate Rainforest Crunch is chocolate ice cream with caramel swirl, candy coated cashews and slivers of chocolate.”Brittany Madden has worked at Giffords for almost ten years.” It’s so much fun. I really look forward to seeing all the customers when we open up. There’s a couple that just for knowing them from here we’ve pen palled through the winter.”There’s one customer they can always count on.”I’m here all the time. Obviously right next door and I drink coffee frappes like there’s not tomorrow. I mourn for a month when they close in October and it’s like a rite of Spring when they open. I can’t wait I always get over here the first day to get my coffee frappe.”Friday night from 6 to 8 folks in Bangor can head over to Giffords and get a free small ice cream cone.