The Second Annual Brain Freeze Ice Cream Festival
By Ludella Awad
It was not just children who screamed for ice cream at the Second Annual Brain Freeze Ice Cream Festival, but thousands of New Mexicans. The festival took place on June 8-9 at Balloon Fiesta Park, attracting large crowds consisting of families and ice cream lovers throughout the state.
The event provided multiple tents, housing a variety of Blue Bell ice cream flavors ready to be tasted by hungry attendees — pecan, cookies ‘n’ cream and sherbet, just to name a few. Additionally, the event provided root beer floats, snow cones and an array of fun activities including music, bouncy houses and face painting.
Co-producer of the event, Dean Strober, along with his wife Lena Strober, created the festival to fundraise for the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network. Together, the couple partnered with a famous ice cream brand, Blue Bell Creameries, increasing awareness for the nonprofit while generating funds for the good cause.
For their part, Blue Bell Creameries not only provided the ice cream but staff, trucks, and refrigeration as well.
Albuquerque Branch Manager for Blue Bell Creameries Jay Cooke said his company was happy to provide ice cream for a great cause through fundraising for the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network.
“We like to be involved in the community,” he said. “We love partnering up to these kinds of activities.”
Despite temperatures reaching 90 degrees Saturday before hitting the high 80s on Sunday, the heat did not stop people from enjoying their cold treats.
First-time attendee Selita Lucas said she and her children enjoyed the ice cream and snow cones even in the Albuquerque heat.
Another attendant Vodra Dorn, said she enjoyed the festival despite being a large fan of homemade vanilla ice cream.
“I Love Blue Bell ice cream,” she admitted with a smile.
With the event drawing a rough estimate of 9,000 attendees Strober said he plans on hosting the event every year, eventually expanding the festival to other major cities. Which is good news for ice cream lovers who can count on the festival returning and bringing icy treats and smiles to Duke City citizens next year.
Photo Courtesy of Brain Freeze Ice Cream Festival