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Late summer calls for ice cream in Brooklyn Park -- along with music and a lot of neighborly socializing

RITA A. LEONARD - The most popular place in Brooklyn Park on the afternoon of September 11th was the ice cream tent!On Sunday afternoon, September 11th, scores of Brooklyn neighbors gathered for the 21st annual Ice Cream Social in Brooklyn Park, hosted by the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association, and various volunteers. Tents were set up by local businesses, while others displayed raffle prizes available for kids and adults, and yet others highlighted community organizations and activities.

The Adopt-A-Block community cleanup program, and the neighborhood T-shirt sale, were in the Brooklyn Bloom Club tent, and also at table featuring free perennials, strawberry plants, and other plants, monitored by Guy Berliner.

RITA A. LEONARD - Everyone with a raffle ticket made sure to be at the periodic drawings. Dozens of kids lined up to purchase balloon sculptures created on the spot by "Balloon Art by Scott Davis" while, nearby, face painter Sophia Marie was busy throughout the 1 to 4 p.m. ice cream social, decorating faces with a multi-hued palette. Prizes in the raffle were donated by local businesses and the BAC, while games of skill and coloring lessons were offered for fun by various volunteers.

Once again live music by the Yam Hillbillies accompanied the event, and several families brought picnic lunches, and pets on leashes. A visit by Westmoreland Fire Station's Engine 20 was a fun and educational experience for both kids and adults. While no rain fell, the arrival of the fire engine was accompanied by a flash of lightning and a loud clap of thunder at 2:15 p.m.

RITA A. LEONARD - Among the organizations displaying at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Social this year, we found Lee and Kathy Orton at the Adopt-a-Block civic cleanup booth. One of the purposes of a gathering like this is for neighbors to meet and talk with neighbors. Indeed, neighbors chatted about new businesses, shattered store and bus-stop windows, car theft, and the proliferation of homeless encampments. Also a subject of conversation was the former US Bank building across from Brooklyn Park, which is under demolition in preparation for the construction of a new apartment building.

There was also comment on the closure of Oscar's Plant-Based Burgers, at 3200 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, soon to give way to a new Thai Restaurant there, to be called "The Chomp", opening in October.

The Brooklyn Park Summer Program for Kids that ended for the year on August 26 has been largely financed by Ben Tarne's returnable bottle and can drop-off program. Large blue collection bags to collect returnables for this purpose can be obtained at Rose City Coffee Shop, The Brooklyn Pharmacy, and from April DeWeese on S.E. 9th Avenue.

Two raffle drawings were held during the ice cream social, and the large crowd lingered to purchase more ice cream bars and Popsicles from BAC volunteers until the 4 p.m. end of the annual Brooklyn neighborhood celebration in the park.

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