Brooklyn ice cream fest offers old-fashioned fun

We’re glad we don’t have to travel to New York City
to enjoy this SE Portland neighborhood fun fest …

“Definitely not your average Joe” Mishkin squeaks together an out-of-this-world balloon hat (or is it a sweater?) for Brooklyn neighbor Sophia Martin.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although this SE Portland neighborhood isn’t the largest, or best known, we realized that  residents take pride in their area by the number of folks we see wearing tee-shirts emblazoned with the text: “Brooklyn, 97202” when we visited their annual Ice Cream Social at Brooklyn Park.

“I’m not sure why, but I’m happy we seem to always have beautiful weather the first Sunday in September,” noted Brooklyn Action Corps’ Marie Phillippi on September 7.

“This is our seventh year for the Ice Cream Social, and it gets better every year,” Phillippi said. “It’s a good-time event where people come together as neighbors. Most of us live within walking distance of the park.”

She pointed out that Brooklyn now has about 2,200 total residents – and more than a quarter of them attend the annual event.

Free prize drawings for the kids are always an event highlight.

Volunteer Michael Vurgwin is cooking up hot dogs and sausages for Thelma Skelton Loaves & Fishes.

Easy-going event
A primary attraction, Phillippi noted, is the ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches they sell for 25 cents each. “We sell it for less than we pay for it; it’s our way of giving back to the neighborhood. We ran out last year, so we purchased a few more cases this time.”

Folks also lined up for big, plump red-hots and sausages that were sizzling the grill, cooked up by volunteers from the Thelma Skelton Loaves & Fishes Center on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue ant Center Street, to raise money for their Meals On Wheels program.

Family fun abounded. “Definitely not your average Joe” Mishkin twisted unusual balloon hats and wearable sculpture for kids – and performed a juggling and circus-arts show later in the afternoon. A colorful bounce-castle with slides entertained kids of all ages, and art projects gave attendees a creative outlet.

Many family groups simply lounged on the lawn, enjoying the music of Kiri Kari.

Shane and Harrison Blitch, along with Ellery Ott, enjoy their hot dog lunch, as they spend a Sunday in Brooklyn Park.

Budding musicians play together under the wings of the colorful City Repair winged canopy truck.

Happy members of the group Kiri Kari (it means “To sing with joy” in the Shona Zimbabwe language) entertain with their lively-but-mellow music.

New volunteers enliven event
“This year, we have almost all-new volunteers helping out,” said Phillippi . “Everyone pitched in; I collectively thank everyone who is helping; we simply couldn’t do it without them.”

Learn more about the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association online, CLICK HERE to be taken to their web site. CLICK HERE to visit Joe Mishkin’s web site!

Vending quarter-a-bar ice cream treats are the event’s organizer, Marie Phillippi, Amanda Stucke, and Daryl Phillippi.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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