23rd Annual Scooper Bowl Returns To City Hall Plaza

Posted June 13, 2016 by Brian Keaney in Downtown Boston
The nation's largest all you can eat ice cream festival.

The 23rd annual Scooper Bowl returned to City Hall Plaza this week to dish out countless bowls of ice cream, all to raise money for one of Boston’s most beloved charitable institutions, The Jimmy Fund.  The event took place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12:00 noon until 8:00 pm each evening.

Upon entering the gates, visitors were given a spoon and were free to visit as many of the tents at the event as they liked. Under each tent was a different ice cream company offering scoops of several varieties of their most popular flavors.  This year, Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyer’s, Delish, Edy’s, Friendly’s, Hood, Yasso, and Yuengling’s Ice Cream all participated.  Yasso, which produces frozen Greek yogurt, offered popsicles as a counter to the standard dishes being offered by other companies.

One group of youths from Quincy and Randolph collectively ate more than 150 scoops of ice cream.  Andrew, an 11 year old from Randolph, came with his older friends right after school on Thursday and ate ice cream for the next two hours.

“I probably ate 20 or 25 cups,” he proudly announced.  Asked what his favorite of the bunch was, there was no hesitation before he declared it to be Friendly’s cotton candy.

The South Shore group said the only downside was the weather.  As they said this, on an overcast day that only got into the 60s, another gust of wind blew through and sent a group of errant napkins swirling through the air like the fudge in the moose tracks ice cream they were eating.

Erin Hawes, who works downtown, came on the final evening of the annual event with two friends.

“My friend just moved here last week from New York,” Hawes said, “and I wanted to show her something wicked Boston to welcome her to town.  What is better than the Scooper Bowl?”

To gain entry, a donation of $10 was made in advance, or one of $15 at the door.  Children between 3 and 9 paid $5 each, and the youngest ice cream lovers got a complimentary admission.  Those with a real hankering could purchase a Scooper Pass and attend all three days.  In addition, schools who fundraise during the school year could obtain free admission for students.

Schools who raised $250, at the Single Scoop level, received 30 free passes.  Double Scoop schools, those who raised $500, got passes for 75 lucky students and teachers.  Triple Scoop schools raised $750 and got passes for 125, while Hot Fudge Sundae schools got 200 passes for a donation of $1,500 or more.

In between cups, there was plenty for attendees to do.  Connor Watson and Colin Murphy of Color and Friends, a North Attleboro based band, played  covers on the corner stage next to the long lines at the Ben & Jerry’s tent.  Various additional sponsors were also on hand, giving out prizes and promotional items, and running games such as cornhole.

Presented this year by Valvoline Instant Oil Change, the nation’s largest all you can eat ice cream festival has been run annually since 1983 to raise funds  for cancer research and care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Since the Scooper Bowl’s inception, more than $5 million has been raised.