July is Ice Cream Month. Congress decided that back in 1984, when Republicans and Democrats actually talked to each other. That same year President Ronald Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5219 designating July 19, 1984 as National Ice Cream Day. Since then, National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July.

IDFA’s 33rd annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party

For 33 years, the International Dairy Foods Association has been having an ice cream party on Capitol Hill. The 33rd Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party was held June 18. (Tea party lovers can only wish for such longevity and bi-partisan support.)

So why was the party in June and not July? Call it association privilege. The ice cream party capped off IDFA’s two-day Advocacy Days event, which briefed association members on dairy issues. The dairy processors made more than 80 visits to congressional offices to discuss Trade Promotion Authority, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, GMO labeling and several other issues of interest to dairy.

50 shades of ice cream flavors and hundreds of root beer floats 

This year, IDFA served more than 50 flavors of ice cream and hundreds of root beer floats under the shady trees of Upper Senate Park, just west of the Russell Senate Office Building on Constitution Avenue, between New Jersey Avenue NW and Delaware Avenue NE.

According to the association, “each year the party grows more and more anticipated; past attendees came prepared with boxes and mail carts to fill, and the park was packed even before the event began. The attendees and IDFA’s teams of servers were happy to dig in early, and they were even happier for the head start when pouring rain decided to join in.”

IDFA President Connie Tipton carried a colorful umbrella to shield herself from the elements (see photo above).

33rd annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party sponsors

Ice Cream Party sponsors were: American Beverage Association; Dean Foods Co.; Dreyer’s, Nestlé USA; Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC; Galliker Dairy Co.; Hershey Creamery Co.; HP Hood LLC; Hiland Dairy Foods Co., LLC; Hunter Farms; Kwik Trip, Inc.; Perry’s Ice Cream Co.; Pierre's Ice Cream Co.; Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; Schoep’s Ice Cream Co., Inc.; The Dannon Co., Inc.; The Ice Cream Club, Inc.; The J.M. Smucker Co.; Unilever; Wells Enterprises, Inc.