National Bomb Pop Day pops up on the last Thursday of June each year, so this year it will be celebrated on June 29. With its iconic and immediately recognizable trio of colors — red, white, and blue, it was born at the outset of a period of patriotic frenzy in American history. What is a Bomb Pop, though? It’s a frozen confection that is shaped like a rocket and is tri-colored. Each color has a different flavor, with the original flavors being cherry, lime, and blue raspberry. Since the frozen treat is itself reminiscent of star-shaped fireworks, the name ‘Bomb Pop’ isn’t really a point to ponder. Because of the color theme, this frozen treat is now a popular favorite on Fourth of July celebrations, too, so why not kick-start the party by stocking up at your nearest convenience store? Or better yet, take the nostalgic route by chasing down an ice-cream truck and getting your tri-colored treats from there.
History of National Bomb Pop Day
The Bomb Pop was first invented by D.S. Abernethy and James S. Merritt, of Merritt Foods, on July 30, 1955, in Kansas City, Missouri. This invention occurred at the outset of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (modern-day Russia) when the situation was heating up as the two world powers began to consider a nuclear war. It seems almost poetic that amidst the threat of nuclear warfare, Abernethy and Merritt came up with a frozen treat to cool down temperaments all over the nation. The pop was shaped like a bomb with six fins, hence the name Bomb Pop, and its color scheme reflected the patriotic zeitgeist of America during the Cold War. Its star shape is also reminiscent of star-shaped rocket fireworks, which is apt for Independence Day celebrations, too.
Speaking of war, the Bomb Pop story is not without its share of controversy, too. In 1989, Popsicle released the Firecracker Pop as the Bomb Pop’s direct rival and the ‘war’ between the two companies was ongoing until 2014.
In 1991, Merritt Foods had to close down, however, it was bought by Well’s Dairy, Iowa — Bomb Pops and all. Since then, the popsicle has only risen in popularity, so much so that Well’s Dairy collaborated with Walt Disney to release a ‘Buzz Lightyear Bomb Pop’ in 2003.
The Bomb Pops of today come in different color combinations and flavors, however, the traditional one remains a hit. It was in 2005, in honor of 50 years of Bomb Pops, that Bomb Pop Day became a national holiday and we think that was a very cool move!
National Bomb Pop Day timeline
11-year old Frank Epperson accidentally leaves soda pop flavoring out to freeze, thus the popsicle (‘pop’ + ‘icicle’) is born.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Merritt Foods invents the first Bomb Pop on July 30.
Merritt Foods shuts down, but thankfully Bomb Pops continue to be made under Well’s Dairy, Iowa.
In honor of 50 years, National Bomb Pop Day is registered.
National Bomb Pop Day FAQs
Do they still make Bomb Pops?
Yes, they do. These frozen treats are still part of Well’s Dairy and are produced to this day in La Mars, Iowa.
What flavors are in a Bomb Pop?
The original Bomb Pop contains cherry, lime, and blue raspberry flavors. Since 2015, new flavors have been added. These are — Fruit Bomb, Watermelon, Hawaiian Punch, Banana Fudge, Tongue Splashes, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Power, Extra Sour Tear Jerkers, and WARHEADS. There is also a sugar-free version of the Bomb Pop, so everyone can enjoy one.
What are the blue popsicles in anime called?
These are called ‘Gari-Gari-Kun,’ which are a popular Japanese frozen treat and have been around for decades. The blue pops are the original ones with a ‘soda’ flavor, though there have been many more flavors added now.
How to Celebrate National Bomb Pop Day
Buy a Bomb Pop (or three)
There is no better way to celebrate this day than to buy this frozen patriot-sicle for yourself or the young ones. Bomb Pops can be bought from ice-cream trucks (if your neighborhood still has them) or most convenience stores. If on the off chance you fail to find any, you can always go online and check the official Bomb Pop website for the nearest supply available.
Read up on the Cold War
Educate yourself by reading up about the Cold War and maybe even get your nose stuck into some of the literature being produced around that time. It’s always worthwhile to do a little historical exploration and know more about the goings-on in the nation (and even the world at large) at that time.
Invent your own ice pop
Why not try making your own unique flavor combination, or experiment with the different foods/beverages you enjoy to create something new. It can be fun for the whole family, kids included!
5 Popular Frozen Treats From Around The World
Sold by street vendors across India, this is a tightly packed ball or cone of ice, with flavored syrup poured over it.
Popular in Mexico, this version of an ice lolly is packed with fresh summer fruit and sweetened with honey or agave.
In Korea, this is a dessert made of shaved ice, topped with sweetened red beans and condensed milk.
In Canada, heated maple syrup is poured over a patch of fresh snow, then picked up with a stick and eaten.
Soursop ice blocks
In places like Trinidad and Tobago, soursop fruit is combined with milk and condensed milk and frozen into blocks.
Why We Love National Bomb Pop Day
It’s a food holiday
Better yet, it’s a confectionary holiday, and who doesn’t have a sweet tooth! We love the fact that this frozen treat has a day of its own so we can indulge guilt-free, and also learn more about it while doing so.
It brings the popsicle story to light
While you cool off with a Bomb Pop, we hope it will not give you brain freeze, as it should pique your interest in knowing more about the history of the popsicle. We won’t tell you here, just so you find this one out on your own.
Ice candy is popular worldwide
Whether it’s the Bomb Pop, the Firecracker, or any other kind of ice candy treat, the world loves these and they can be found in every culture and region. The best part is that they are versatile, simple to make, and inexpensive, thereby ensuring that people from all walks of life can enjoy them.
National Bomb Pop Day dates