Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream kicks off ice cream tour in D.C. area (Photos)

WASHINGTON — An ice cream company expanding into the D.C. area is celebrating by offering free scoops to its hungry residents over the next two months.

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream is offering free ice cream at more than 70 events around the D.C. area through July and August. The move comes as the chain grows into Maryland, Virginia and D.C. following the Maine-based company’s 2011 acquisition of the Maryland-based Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy Co.

“Our hope is that families in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. will come to know our story too and come to love our ice cream just as much,” Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, a fifth generation ice cream maker at Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, said in a news release.

During the company’s “ice cream tour,” fans can tweet to @GiffordsMaine using #FreeGiffordsIceCream to request the truck visit their location.

Also, the ice cream truck will participate in the fourth annual “DC Scoop,” an ice cream competition at Union Market on July 19, the eve of National Ice Cream Day.

If you’re not able to spot the Gifford’s ice cream truck, the ice cream is available at Whole Foods Market, Balducci’s, Wawa and other D.C.-area grocery stores.

The ice cream, which comes in more than 100 flavors, is made in a slow-churning process to make the treat taste even better, Gifford-Skilling says.

“It’s a different process. It’s not the fastest process by any means but we think it makes the creamiest product,” she says.

Gifford-Skilling says “you can’t miss” the brightly-colored trucks that will be giving out the free ice cream through August.

“We have some incredibly energetic and loyal customers who seem to fall in love with our ice cream and our story,” Gifford-Skilling said in a news release.

“Our family is working hard to take it to the next level to make our grandparents and parents proud. We are excited to be in D.C.!”

Although Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream and D.C.-based Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy Co. share the same name, the two families are not related.

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