Here’s the scoop on the world’s longest ice cream dessert attempt.

May 31, 2016

A test run of the sundae attempt. Barry Neal, left, along with HOF employees Ashley Austin, center, and Audrey Curran.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Barry Neal is not afraid of big challenges. But attempting the Guinness World Record of the world’s longest ice cream dessert, well, that’s really big.

“I’m not afraid of big,” Barry, who owns House of Flavors Restaurants, says. “But, I’ve never done anything this big before.”

On Saturday, June 11, House of Flavors, along with Downtown Ludington, will put Ludington on the map, again with an ice cream sundae that is 2,640 feet (804.672 meters) long, breaking the current record of 1957.021 feet (596.5 meters) held by Manurewa, New Zealand.

The sundae will be eight city blocks long, in the north lane of Ludington Avenue beginning at Harrison Street west to Park Street. The 855 gallons of ice cream from 285 three gallon containers will be served into 12,825 scoops into a continuous drain gutter, which is being supplied by Superior Gutter and built by Square Deal.

The task was the brainchild of Jen Tooman, the communications and marketing coordinator for Downtown Ludington, the city’s downtown development authority. 

“Jen brought this idea to me a couple years ago,” Barry says. “She said, we should do this. I said, I can’t even think about this right now. Then, last fall I thought about it some more and said, ‘yeah, now’s the time.’ I met with Jen and other officials from the city in January and we committed to doing this as long as it would be a community project. We needed to divide the event into many tasks.”

Barry says the list of those who have been planning the event is long — probably about as long as the sundae will be. Many more have come forward to volunteer the day of the event, but many more are still needed.

“We need to get 600 people to scoop 25 scoops of ice cream, each, at exactly the same time, that alone requires a lot of oversight.” The people will be in 10-foot sections of trough will need to scoop the 60 scoops of ice cream in 4.5 minutes. The event itself needs 1,100 volunteers, which also include people to help set up and tear down.

Barry says once the ice cream is scooped, the entire sundae needs to be documented to prove to Guinness that the event took place. Guinness has a specific list of photos and videos that are required. Once everything is confirmed, it’s time to eat the dessert, which will require at least 6,400 people to eat two scoops of ice cream each.

Volunteers will receive a commemorative world record attempt paper hat, a 12 ounce jar of stemless CherryMan maraschino cherries with a commemorative world record attempt label, plus a certificate for a free single scoop of ice cream at House of Flavors.

The current world record is held by Manurewa, a suburb of Auckland, New Zeeland. The city built and consumed its ice cream desert on Feb. 28, 2015.

If you are interested in volunteering to scoop ice cream, show up at Rotary Park (formerly City Park) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. The event begins at 6 p.m.