This Weekend: Giant Ice Cream Block Party At Reading Terminal Market

July is a lot of things (humid and long are the first adjectives that come to mind), but it is also National Ice Cream Month. If you have yet to begin celebrating (or are looking for a way to do it in the company of others rather than alone on your couch in your underwear with a pint of rum raisin), look no further because on Saturday, July 18th, Reading Terminal Market will be celebrating with the return of their Sidewalk Sizzle and Ice Cream Freeze.

Before my tangent, let me give you the details:

10 AM – 4 PM along Filbert Street, savor everything from turkey legs, to grilled Tastykakes(?!?), grilled sausage sandwiches, Cajun burgers, grilled corn on the cob, and shrimp kabobs. Follow that list up with a variety of ice creams, grilled fruit sundaes, sheep’s milk gelato, and more.

There will be ice cream eating contests, serenades from FringeArts performers about each ice cream flavor at Bassett’s, and children’s arts and crafts. Basically, a crazy, weird, musical ice cream block party.

Now, as something of a skeptic when it comes to these national food-related holidays or months, I took a few moments to research the history of National Ice Cream Month before writing this post. Not only is this the best research I’ve done (possibly ever), it has entirely re-framed everything I’ve learned about Ronald Reagan. Why is this not included in high school history textbooks next to trickle-down economics? While perhaps a huge waste of presidential time (I’ll leave that judgement call to you), can anyone honestly say this isn’t totally awesome?

Proclamation 5219, from July 9th, 1984, states:

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 […] 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 activities.

That’s right, friends. Ronald Reagan calls upon YOU to celebrate this day. Do it for your country. Do it for your elastic-waist pants. Do it for the man sitting in the oval office 31 years ago, taking time out from directing the country to remind you of the place of national importance that frozen dairy desserts hold.

President Obama, if you get a moment, I’ve got a list of foods I think we should talk about.

Reading Terminal Market [official]