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National Ice Cream Month -- win ice cream for a year in Santa Cruz

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To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, there is a delicious Downtown Santa Cruz-sponsored contest with a grand prize of free ice cream for a year!

One winner receives 50 gift certificates for free ice cream – so the idea is to use one per week. To be exact, the prize is “approximately” one year of free dessert.

How you play: visit one of the five participating venues and pick up an Ice Cream Month punch card. The venues are the Penny Ice Creamery, Pacific Cookie Company, Mission Hill Creamery, Marini's Candies and Cold Stone Creamery. Through July 27, have your card punched every time you order a treat from one of these sweet places.

Then, on July 27, visit Mission Hill Creamery at 3 p.m. for a special event. Vice Mayor Don Lane (the “Vice Cream Mayor,” he even has an ice cream tattoo!) will present a special Vice Mayoral Proclamation. Anyone who has a completed Ice Cream Month punch card (ten punches) will be entered in a raffle for free ice cream. You must be present to win. If you have eaten enough ice cream by July 27 that you have more than one punch card filled out, each one of these counts as a separate raffle entry.

Follow the Downtown Santa Cruz Facebook page to learn about featured ice cream flavors every day. You don’t have to eat that particular flavor to get a punch; it’s just another highlight of ice cream month in Santa Cruz. Not to whet your appetite or anything, but Sunday’s featured flavor was Macapuno (baby coconut) at Pacific Cookie, Saturday’s was Oreo Overload at Coldstone, Friday’s was Ricotta Fig at Mission Hill, and the 4th of July highlighted the flavor The Great Morgani at Marini’s.

Today’s featured flavor? Blackberry Sweet Corn at The Penny Ice Creamery. Mmmm, I can taste it already...

Remember -- since National Ice Cream Month is July, we are halfway through already. You better get eating!

Locations:
Mission Hill Creamery, 1101B Pacific Ave.
The Penny Ice Creamery, several locations including original downtown branch, 913 Cedar St.
Pacific Cookie Company, two locations including downtown, 1203 Pacific Ave.
Marini's Candies, two locations including downtown, 1308 Pacific Ave.
Cold Stone Creamery, 1129 Pacific Ave.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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