By Robert Banh
Check out the details of the 8th Annual Amy’s Ice Creams Trick Olympics. The high-flying-ice-cream event benefited CASA.
As the tail end of rush-hour Lamar traffic crept past the parking lot, kids, teenagers, and adults alike spread blankets and settled in on lawn chairs at the Waterloo Records and 24 Diner parking lot on Tuesday, June 5 to witness the 8th Annual Amy’s Ice Creams Trick Olympics.
Parents lifted their children on their shoulders, and everyone from the tattooed to the clean-cut found themselves slurping half-melted Mexican Vanilla while DJ Big Face spun mixed tracks like MGMT’s “Electric Feel.”
Amy’s employees, nicknamed “scoops,” from all 15 store locations in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston competed in the event held at Amy’s Sixth Street store.
Austin’s very own “America’s Got Talent” ice-cream-slinging group the Parlor Tricks, consisting of scoops Max Rinehart, Travis Luxton, Charles Cotton, and Dominic Berardino kicked off the night with a well-rehearsed bit with the occasional ice cream drop. The four remained full of laughs and good spirits despite mistakes.
Rinehart and fellow scoop Beau DiCicco went on to make ice cream history later in the evening, breaking the record for number of scoops thrown and caught on a cake cone in one minute with 28 scoops. The previous record was 25 scoops.
The Trick Olympics consisted of three events: a solo trick, in which individual scoops were given three chances to woo the judges with their wow factor, crowd involvement and difficulty; a team trick, in which teams of two or more scoops tried to out-trick other teams; and the trick decathlon, a timed race featuring 10 increasingly difficult tricks in rapid succession.
The Trick Decathlon was the first of the three events. Event organizers divided competitors into four heats of four scoops and declared one winner from each heat. At the end of the competition, the four winning scoops would compete in a single-elimination final round, consisting of more difficult tricks than the first round.
“All the tricks in the first round were pretty basic,” Arboretum scoop and first heat winner Jordan Silverman said. “But the hardest one for me was the inverse spade sticker. We had to get the ice cream to stick to the spade while it was turned over, and it was just impossible.”
Silverman moved on to the final round, getting eliminated in the fourth round for missing a difficult “behind the back, mouth catch, separate” trick in which each person had to hold the cup in his teeth, toss the ice cream behind his back (making sure the spade came loose from the ice cream), and catch it in the cup using only his mouth.
Silverman ended up placing third in the Trick Decathlon, with Charles Cotton taking second place and Max Rinehart of the Austin-Bergstrom Airport location in first.
So how easy is it to toss balls of ice cream on a Texas June evening? Not easy, according to Silverman.
“All the ice cream kept melting and made the concrete really slippery,” he said. “Plus I had to keep making new balls of ice cream during the decathlon because mine kept melting. Or I had to try to keep ones I’d already made in the cooler so it wouldn’t melt.”
In the Solo Trick competition, scoop’s tricks varied from Silverman’s attempt to juggle a gummy bear with plastic spoons, to tap-dancing Zeke “ZZ-Tap” Zimmermann,” to last year’s winner, Starr from the Guadalupe store, flinging ice cream under her legs in a short skirt, to Beau DiCicco from the Sixth Street store tossing ice cream into a waffle cone with practiced finesse. DiCicco ended up taking first place in the event, with “Tequila” dancer Tommy Deibel in second place and Charles Cotton taking third.
In the Team Trick division, teams performed tricks, full of surprise story lines and unique twists. The SoCo Ninjas threw ice cream balls to the tune of heavy metal music at a girl outfitted in pillow armor with plastic bowls for hands. A duo named the Crossbones, individually going by T-Bone and Hambone, reenacted the Civil War with ice cream bullets and cardboard fortresses. Team ‘Murica danced to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” and Team Very Best Friends Forever kept it simple with a flawless toss-and-catch trick. The latter team, consisting of Solo Trick winner Beau DiCicco and Trick Decathlon winner Max Rinehart, took first place. Crossbones came in second with Team ‘Murica in third.
While the evening remained lighthearted and fun, a booth at the back of the parking lot reminded spectators why Amy’s was actually hosting the event: to benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocacy) of Travis County, a non-profit that trains volunteers to defend abused or neglected children in the courtroom, in schools, and in the community. CASA representative Callie Langford manned the booth, taking donations for raffle tickets for free ice cream and a gift basket worth more than $300.