Chill out and cool off with all the ice cream you can devour at the second annual Brain Freeze Ice Cream Festival.
Attendees can get unlimited scoops of more than 20 flavors of Blue Bell ice cream or choose to sample them all. This year, festival organizers did away with tokens required for a scoop at last year’s event. Eventgoers now pay one price and receive as many scoops of ice cream as they want at the event on June 8 and 9 at Balloon Fiesta Park.
“Ice cream is available by cup and in cones, and of course people can also walk up and sample everything,” said Dean Strober of Blue River Productions. “We’ve probably got close to 25 flavors of ice cream. It’s a lot of ice cream, so if people really want to come in and try everything, we definitely encourage sampling as well, but we won’t hold back someone if they wanted 25 scoops.”
Every flavor has its own scoop station, and BJ’s Restaurant will be handing out free root beer floats with their handcrafted root beer and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. The floats are included in the price of admission.
“When people walk in, the very first thing that they’ll see is just rows of ice cream cones, just grab and go,” Strober said. “I think what people are surprised by is how quickly we serve the ice cream so there are no lines.”
Brain Freeze features plenty of entertainment, games and activities, including hourly foam parties, a climbing wall and soccer clinics presented by i9 Sports. Local businesses also will be at the event, and will bring their own games and activities for attendees. Brain Freeze has teamed up with RunFit for the Lickety Split 5K at 11 a.m. and KidsK at 11:45 a.m. June 9. Packet pickup is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8. Registration fees range from $20 to $40.
“We have two different foam cannon machines,” Strober said. “They were incredibly popular last year, so we just decided to go bigger with the foam to create larger foam pits for playing. We’ve doubled the amount of inflatable units from last year. It’s a combination of bounce houses, and obstacle courses and activities.”
NM Crew, a music and entertainment group geared toward families and children, will have performances throughout the event. School of Rock, Albuquerque’s premier rock ‘n’ roll school for kids, will perform at the festival at 1:30 p.m. June 9.
“(NM Crew) they’re out there playing music, playing games and activities, and they really do keep the party moving, highly interactive,” Strober said.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network and several other local nonprofits, including Life Roots, an early intervention organization that works with youths and adults with disabilities on many levels, including helping them find employment, according to Strober.