IDFA member companies donate 1,800 gallons of ice cream to serve 4,000 guests on Capitol grounds
To kick off National Ice Cream Month in July, the International Dairy Foods Association will host its 37thannual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party on Wednesday, June 19, at Union Square Park on Capitol Hill from 4-6 p.m. The Ice Cream Party has been an essential summertime event for members of Congress, their families, Capitol Hill staff and many other special guests since it began in 1982. Guests from President Ronald Reagan to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Congressman John Lewis and Senator Ted Kennedy have all played a part in the annual event. For IDFA, it’s a valuable opportunity to showcase the dairy industry and its delicious products to federal policymakers.
“The Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party is our way of showing appreciation on behalf of America’s dairy industry to our public servants, members of Congress, and all the individuals working in Congress and within our local federal agencies,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “And it’s a great excuse for all of us to enjoy a few scoops of America’s most popular frozen treat—ice cream!”
What: 37th Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party
Where: Union Square Park ()
When: June 19 from 4-6 p.m.
Who Can Attend: Anyone—this event is open to the general public
Hashtag: Follow the fun with #Hillscoops (@dairyidfa)
Ice Cream Facts
As National Ice Cream Month approaches in July, here are five fun facts about ice cream:
- Ice cream was first discovered by Marco Polo (1254–1324) with a recipe that closely resembled sherbet. In England, King Charles I (1600-1649) regularly enjoyed what he called “cream ice.”
- On July 9, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5219 that designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. (Photo below: The President and Mrs. Reagan. Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.)
The proclamation reads: Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983.
- Some stats: In 2017, about 1.4 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the United States. Ice cream is an $11 billion industry in the United States that supports 26,000 direct jobs and generates $1.6 billion in direct wages.
- During World War II, according to the U.S. Naval Institute News, the U.S. Navy found that ice cream was popular among sailors. It was so popular that the Navy borrowed a refrigerated concrete barge from the Army Transportation Corps in 1945 to serve as a floating ice cream parlor. At a cost of $1 million, the barge was towed around the Pacific to provide ice cream to ships smaller than a destroyer that lacked ice cream-making facilities. The Navy proudly announced that the vessel could manufacture 10 gallons of ice cream every seven minutes and had storage capacity of 2000 gallons. (Photo below: Sailor eating ice cream. Courtesy of U.S. Navy.)
- The 10 most popular flavors of ice cream in the United States are: