by: RITA A. LEONARD - Helping vend the ice cream bars at the Brooklyn Action Corps Ice Cream Social are, from left, Marie Phillippi, Mark Romanaggi, and Daryl Phillippi.Blue skies made a cheerful background for Brooklyn's 11th annual “Ice Cream Social in the Park”. The Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association organized the September 8th event to coincide with students' return to school.

Families greeted old friends, explored information booths, won raffle prizes, and participated in various activities. Clowns provided a dash of color, and music was provided by the Reverb Brothers and the Yamhillbillies.

The City of Portland's portable rock climbing wall attracted older kids, while face painting by pink-haired “Lee Loona”, and balloon sculptures created by red-wigged “Gentle Biff” kept the younger kids lined up from l till 4 pm without a break. A jolly rubber elephant and palm tree welcomed youngsters to the “Jungle Jump” air bouncer, where they rid themselves of excess energy.

The “Meals on Wheels” pavilion provided cool watermelon, lemonade, and sodas to beat the early September heat. Nearby, BAC volunteers wearing “Brooklyn 97202” T-shirts sold ice cream bars at old-fashioned prices.

Brooklyn's Historical Society display and the raffle tent drew interest on items old and new. The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project was represented, with TriMet spokesperson Jennifer Koozer answering questions and providing handouts.

Neighborhood garden interests were addressed at the Brooklyn Community Garden tent, where fliers were available, and T-shirts were sold designed by BCG garden muralist Alex Southworth. Nearby, a flower-bedecked table set up by Eastmoreland resident Beth Wieting featured free literature on how to attract natural creatures to your garden.

When the 11th annual Brooklyn Ice Cream Social was over, families retreated to the top of the Brooklyn Park hill to play on park equipment and around the stone sculpture “Tete-a-Tete-a-Tete”, to finish up the pleasant afternoon.