An Ice-Cream Festival With a Mission Lands in NYC This Weekend

Two cones from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Two cones from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory | © Jane Kratochvil
Photo of Amy Schulman
Food Editor31 May 2018

Ice-cream lovers, rejoice! An entire festival dedicated to the cold treat is popping up in Bryant Park this weekend.

The park, which hosts Scooper Bowl New York for the second year in a row, will be brimming with vendors serving up all-you-can-eat scoops of some of the best ice cream around. Thirteen local and national businesses will be at this year’s event, and more than 60 different flavours will be available.

The packed roster includes New York favorites Adirondack Creamery, Big Gay Ice Cream, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, as well as larger national scoop shops like Ben & Jerry’s, Baskin-Robbins, and Breyers. Each will offer a mix of traditional and nontraditional flavors—think Syrian date & walnut from Adirondack Creamery and vanilla with cookie dough & caramel truffles from Vice Cream—along with plenty of fat-free/low-fat, vegan, and dairy-free ice creams for those looking for something a bit healthier.

Very happy ice-cream consumers | © Jane Kratochvil

“Eating ice cream brings back happy memories of childhood, summertime, and sunny days,” explains Brooke Biederman, Scooper Bowl New York founder and co-chair. “Scooper Bowl capitalizes on these positives feelings—for a great cause.”

The Scooper Bowl event all started in Boston 36 years ago and arrived in New York for the first time last year, much to the delight of ice-cream fans. Like in Boston, all proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund, an organization that supports adult and pediatric cancer care research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

“The event is a win-win,” says Biederman. “People love ice cream and people love doing good things for others.”

Last year’s event featured 3,000 gallons of ice cream, and this year’s edition is expected to eclipse that. All the ice cream that’s served at the event is donated. There will also be an assortment of pastries from Breads Bakery, and wafer “spoons” will be supplied by Italian confectioner Loacker.

An assortment of ice-cream flavors | © Jane Kratochvil

“The donations are 18,000 servings per brand,” Biederman says. “All are hugely generous and hugely philanthropic.”

Along with the mounds of ice cream, the festival will feature a host of activities and games for when you need to give your sweet tooth a break (if that’s even possible). Guessing games and quick competitions will take place throughout the three-day event, and a selection of prizes from both charities will be handed out to winners as well.

Tickets cost $25 and provide you with unlimited access to an avalanche of ice cream on your choice of date: June 1–2, 2018, from noon to 9pm, and June 3, from noon to 7pm.

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