Gunther’s Ice Cream rings in 75th anniversary with ice cream social

Image courtesy of Rick and Marlena Klopp
Gunther's Ice Cream in Curtis Park has been a Sacramento institution since 1940.

Let's all scream for ice cream on Saturday, May 16 when Gunther’s Ice Cream serves up a massive outdoor bash to celebrate the shop’s 75th anniversary in Curtis Park.

The outdoor ice cream social, which is expected to draw over 1,500 attendees, will take attendees back in time to the shop’s grand opening in 1940 with employees dressed in Gunther’s original uniforms, as well as ’50s music mixed by a live DJ.

“I’m very proud of Gunther’s,” says co-owner Marlena Klopp, who took over the business in 1974 with her husband Rick after its original founders Herman and Iva Gunther passed away. “We have a very loyal following and people who just appreciate historical businesses and the memories that they’ve made. I’m very honored to be a part of it.”

For a $5 meal ticket, Gunther’s will be serving up barbecued hot dogs, chips, soda and a scoop of ice cream (in original flavors like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) or a scoop of the shop’s dairy-free Fruit Freezes in flavors like orange and strawberry. Also included with the meal is a raffle ticket, which guests can use to win prizes, such as Gunther’s gift cards or bicycles from Mike’s Bikes of Sacramento.

Mayor Johnson will be a guest speaker at the event, as well as former Gunther’s employees like Sacramento District 1 supervisor Phil Serna and Yuba City director of development services Darin Gale.

Kids can meet Sacramento River Cats mascot Dinger and partake in activities like face painting, balloon art and a live magic show, and guests are also invited to take a selfie with the Gunther’s iconic “Jugglin’ Joe” neon mascot at a special photo booth replicating the parlor’s historic storefront.

“There have been so many generations that have come through this building,” Klopp says. “People have made many, many memories here and it’s a timeless place, so they want to come back to a place where they remember coming with their parents or grandparents. It’s the architecture, the building, the sign, the ice cream and the memories that are held within these walls.”

Free. Noon-4 p.m. Gunther’s Ice Cream. 2801 Franklin Blvd. 457-6646.

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