Guest Blogger Steve Christensen, aka “The Ice Cream Bloke,” offers a bit of history about the origins of National Ice Cream Month and has a suggestion for celebrating the occasion.
OK, so you need a little justification to dive into another pint of your favorite creamy frozen dessert. It’s hotter than Haiti outside and all of the kids are home from school for three months… and you need an excuse?
Well, look no further for the perfect all-encompassing, no holds barred reason to satisfy your constant craving. July is National Ice Cream Month.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Which Ice Cream Company came up with this little beauty to boost sales and grow the bottom line (both financially and physically?)
Well it wasn’t a company, but rather the former Leader of the Free World: Ronald Reagan.
On this date, 25 years ago.
You see, Ronnie, as I called him, loved a few laps around a waffle cone on the White House lawn. In fact President Reagan, stating in his Ice Cream Proclamation dated July 9, 1984, stated â€˜Ice cream was enjoyed by over 90 percent of the populationâ€™ and that it was the â€˜perfect dessert and snack food.â€™
The proclamation ends with these solemn words;
â€˜Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activitiesâ€™
Now granted, it’s not an â€˜Ask not what your country can do for youâ€™ kind of address, but it has more of a â€˜Four Scoops and Twenty Years Agoâ€™ kind of feel. You see back in the day of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the ice cream Industry generated about 3.5 billion dollars in annual sales and 10 percent of all milk produced went to Ice Cream production.
The President would be very proud of how his countrymen have taken his proclamation to heart with each of the 300 million Americans consuming about 20 quarts of ice cream a year. Now that’s national pride hard at work.
The Bloke’s advice: Visit your local ice cream shop
Now begs the question: what constitutes â€˜Appropriate Ceremonies and Activitiesâ€™? Well, I think a visit to your local ice cream shop is a good place to start â€“ and not to put any pressure on your local purveyor of frozen treats, but every ice cream store owner worth his salt should be gearing up with some celebrations or promotions. If not, ask â€˜why not?!?â€™
You see, you could very easily go out and buy a couple of tubs at the grocery store and sit in front of the idiot box and scoop away into the wee hours of the morning, but that’s not what President Ronald was proclaiming about.
Get out there and support the man on the street. The small corner ice cream shop owner or your local franchisee that is pounding the Oreos into the mint, or the pecans into the Butterscotch for your benefit. He (or she) is the true unsung hero of National Ice Cream Month. You see, for him (or her), every day is National Ice Cream Day.
So follow the counsel of your former President, take the family out and get into what this country is all about: eating ice cream together and making memories.
You can keep up with my weekly ice cream adventures at theicecreambloke.com.
Keep on Scoopin’
The Ice Cream Bloke