EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — On Wednesday, First News reporter/anchor Stan Boney saw two indicators that daily life in East Palestine is returning to normal: He says he was the only reporter in town, and the hot dog/ice cream shop has reopened for the season.

For the first time this year — and a week earlier than usual — the open sign was lit at Dogs On The Run, Don Elzer’s hot dog/ice cream shop in downtown East Palestine.

“We’ve got a couple hundred extra people in town,” Elzer says. “This piece of property is very visible, and I just think from a standpoint of, ‘Let’s get back to normal,’ opening up was the right thing.”

Employee Courtney Stewart went through the process behind making a “campfire dog,” which includes barbecue sauce and bacon.

Then, it was on to the ice cream.

“The cotton candy that Perry’s does — it’s one of our kids’ favorites. The [kids] that come from softball teams or basketball teams, they always love this one,” Stewart says.

“A lot of kids, when they come here, they always get their picture take on Him,” employee Haley Falcone says.

“Him” refers to the bulldog — East Palestine’s mascot — that sits out front and to which Falcone was brightening up with new paint.

She, too, hopes opening up means a return to normal.

“I miss seeing the kids. I miss see my usuals,” Falcone says. “It’ll be nice to open up and hopefully see the same faces and newer faces, too.”

“I can’t tell you how many people I went to that said, ‘Oh, finally, I can get back to my routine,'” Elzer says.

Elzer’s routine since the derailment has included being interviewed 30 times.

“Anybody from Germany, Israel, Cleveland, Pittsburgh — a lot. It’s been all over. The New York Times has been here several times,” Elzer says.

The sound of hot dogs being wrapped has replaced conversations surrounding derailment and controlled release — and Elzer is fine with that.

“As a matter of fact, we were joking this morning that we’re going to have conversations not about the train,” Elzer says.