IDFA hosted the 37th annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party on Wednesday, June 19, at Union Square on Capitol Hill. With temperatures reaching the upper 80s on a beautifully sunny day, thousands of guests crowded the grounds surrounding the reflecting pool at the Capitol to enjoy dozens of varieties of ice cream from 16 IDFA member companies. In total, IDFA staff and volunteers served more than 1,500 gallons of ice cream—or nearly 50,000 scoops of ice cream, including 2,000 root beer floats.

“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!”

Showcase Dairy Industry, Products

The Ice Cream 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. Guests from President Ronald Reagan to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and the late Sen. 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.

Hundreds of people from across the country—from Alaska to Florida—took to social media to share photos from the event or to offer their thoughts and comments about their love of ice cream and dairy products, using #Hillscoops.

“Ice cream really brings people together. Many attendees came out in groups with friends, family and colleagues. We talked about our love for ice cream, including our favorite flavors. Several mentioned the importance of the dairy industry to their states and local communities,” Dykes said.

In 2017, about 1.4 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the United States. Ice cream is an $11 billion industry in the United States that supports 26,000 direct jobs and generates $1.6 billion in direct wages, according to IDFA’s Dairy Delivers®.

The Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party is one of the most popular and anticipated events in Washington. This year, to help congressional staff shuttle bowls of ice cream from the party to their offices, IDFA provided branded cardboard carrying trays. 


Here are additional photos from yesterday’s successful event.






Thank You, Sponsors

IDFA would like to thank the sponsors of the event for providing the ice cream and the root beer, as well as paper goods and plasticware.

  • American Beverage Association
  • Blue Bell Creameries
  • Galliker Dairy Company
  • Gifford’s Dairy Inc.
  • Hershey Creamery Company
  • Hiland Dairy Foods Co., LLC
  • HP Hood LLC
  • Hunter Farms
  • Jack & Jill D.S.D.
  • Ice Cream Specialties/Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
  • The Ice Cream Club, Inc.
  • Mayfield Dairy Farms/Dean Foods Company
  • Perry's Ice Cream Company, Inc.
  • Pierre's Ice Cream Company
  • Schoep’s Ice Cream Co., Inc.
  • Turkey Hill Dairy Inc.
  • Wells Enterprises, Inc.

For more information, contact Tracy Boyle, IDFA director of employee relations and administrative services, at