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Ipswich takes snowfall in stride, all 2 feet of it

IVincent Waid ,3, makes his way up a snow-covered street in Ipswich with his dad, Andrew.
IVincent Waid ,3, makes his way up a snow-covered street in Ipswich with his dad, Andrew. Credit: Joanne Rathe photo/Globe Staff

IPSWICH — Typically, the only time Ipswich leads the state in anything is in July, when it has the largest concentration of those evil greenhead flies.

But today, Ipwich was sizing up another superlative: It is among the North Short towns with the highest reported snowfall total in the state, at just over 2 feet.

Marty’s Donut Land is open because it’s always open, midnight to noon. Since 1956, it has only been closed three days — and one was when the owner died. So customers were streaming in, knowing they could count on a hot doughnut and a cup of coffee.

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“If we had a tornado and this building was standing, we’d be open,” said Gail Violette, who was manning the counter. But she said just getting there from her house at the top of a hill had been an adventure.

“It was really scary walking down the hill. I should have had my sled,” she said. “But now that the plows are out, it’s actually kind of fun out there.”

“It’s no fun walking,” Audrey Tucker, 21, interjected. She had just walked to her job at Subway, but found the manager hadn’t arrived yet, so rather than stand out in the cold, she headed for Marty’s for three glazed doughnuts. “There were no shoveled sidewalks between my house and here.”

Tim Davis was also buying a huge assortment of doughnuts for his two teenage children at home, snowbound with cabin fever setting in. “I’m just trying to avoid a war, so I bought two of everything.”

As for the small dose of pride the town was feeling from the snowfall totals, Jamie Smorczewski said: “I can feel the pride in my back after all the shoveling I did,” he said, as he and his 4-year-old son, Alex, got ready for the day’s main event: building a snow man.

Matt Mekolsky, who was manning the counter at Family Dollar, said the drive from his house in Beverly had been brutal, taking four times what it normally does. And when he got to work, his mother called with news about Ipswich’s snowfall totals. “I guess we’re the lucky ones,” he said, rolling his eyes.

At Zumi’s coffee house, Charlotte Marsh, who describes herself as “definitely a winter person,” said she was overjoyed to wake up to the news that Ipswich had broken the 2-foot line.

“I actually didn’t get a whole lot of sleep because I was too excited,” she said. “We hit the jackpot, like a kid on Christmas morning.”

She and her husband were planning to spend the day cross-country skiing across the dunes at Crane Beach.

In a corner at Zumi’s, Jackson Benjamin, 5, and his sister, Julia, 3, were enjoying some snow-day treats and chocolate milk as they prepared to go out sledding.

“This is great, we get to spend the day together, come to Zumi’s and eat sweets we don’t normally get,” their dad, Jason Benjamin, said. “And I didn’t have to go to school,” Benjamin said happily.

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