To kick off National Ice Cream Month in July, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) will host its 37th annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party on Wednesday, June 19, at Union Square Park on Capitol Hill from 4-6 p.m. The 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, Washington, D.C.-based IDFA said.

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 event averages about 4,000 guests each year, IDFA said, making it one of the most popular and anticipated events in Washington, D.C. Approximately 20 IDFA member companies donated 1,800 gallons of ice cream this year — up from 1,700 last year — to help keep up with the growing number of attendees the party attracts.

Each gallon contains 32 scoops of ice cream, so more than 57,000 scoops will be served, the association noted. IDFA volunteers also expect to serve more than 3,000 root beer floats to guests.

“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!”