PARKERSBURG - With a bright sunny day and good temperatures, many people flocked Sunday to the 11th annual Parkersburg Ice Cream Social in downtown Parkersburg.
People began coming to the event held at Eighth and Market streets starting at 4 p.m. Sunday and stayed until around 8 p.m.
Children enjoyed inflatables and a small petting zoo while others enjoyed a variety of games and other activities. The whole time people were able to get a variety of ice creams, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butter pecan as well as grilled hot dogs and other food.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Mary Van Arsdall was scooping ice cream Sunday at the 11th annual Parkersburg Ice Cream Social at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. People were able to get a variety of ice creams, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butter pecan as well as grilled hot dogs and other food. The event helped raise money for Parkersburg Urban Ministries.
The social is organized by First Baptist Church of Parkersburg at the corner of Eighth and Market streets
"We are engaged in our community and want to help local ministries that are meeting the needs of people in the area," said the Rev. Rich McClure, pastor of First Baptist Church. "We do this as an awareness raiser and a fundraiser to help local groups.
"This year we are helping out Parkersburg Urban Ministries."
Parkersburg Urban Ministries has helped people with a variety of needs like assistance to help people pay utility bills and for prescriptions as well as other needs.
"We have a fundraiser like this to help make people aware of what they do," McClure said. "We are the vehicle to get it from one place to another
"It is bringing together people who want to help with those who need help."
Based on crowds Sunday, McClure believes they will be able to send between $500-$1,000 to Parkersburg Urban Ministries.
In the past, the social has brought in as many as 700 and as few as 200 visitors. Last year, heavy rains kept the numbers down.
"With the weather like it is, I am hoping to bring in 600-700 people," McClure said Sunday afternoon.
The ice cream was purchased by a local man, who attends First Baptist Church. He turned right around and donated it to the social.
"We don't sell it, we accept donations for it," McClure said. "We tell people it is for community ministries."
People were asked to make a small donation, if they were able. That money goes towards the programs put on by the Parkersburg Urban Ministries.
"Actually people give more in donations than they would if we actually charged," McClure said. "It works out very well that way."
A number of cake walks were held throughout the social where 30 different vendors, businesses and individuals donated cakes. People paid $1 to participate with that money going to people in need. This was also the first year a clothing drive was held with around a thousand pieces of clothing. Each item was $1 and that money will go to a local organization that provides clothing to those in need.
"That has garnered a lot of interest," McClure said. "We are glad to see that."
Other groups came out to help out with the social. The City of Parkersburg helped get needed utilities in place and get certain streets closed off to make sure the social occurred.
Many people came out to see old friends while helping out those in need on Sunday.
"I came out to get some ice cream on a pretty day," said Sarah Snyder, of Parkersburg. "I always come here because I use to work for Wood County Senior Citizens.
"All of the people I knew up at Market Manor come down here and I get to see them again."
Nita Life, of Parkersburg, came to help the featured organizations and to have some fun. She participated in one of the cake walks held during the social.
"We always come down here to see what organization is being supported and who we can help," she said. "We can give a dollar or two and have some fun."
McClure hoped the event raises awareness of those in need locally.
"There are a lot of people in this community who want to help others," he said. "This is a vehicle to do that.
"We are glad we can help in that way. It is a nice downtown event as people from the surrounding neighborhoods gather together. It is a social time for them. We are glad we could facilitate that."