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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Bird Park was packed with families playing yard games and listening to live music on Saturday evening. The community had come out to celebrate the park’s annual Ice Cream Festival, and was rewarded with an abundant supply of activities including face painting, bubble-blowing, and a giant game of Jenga.
Of course, there was also another obvious attraction: the decadent ice cream itself. Roger Culp, who is a member of the Friends of Bird Park and also part of the Trustees, helped serve the sweet stuff.
“People love coming to this park and are enjoying the day. There is some way for everyone to have fun,” he said.
Families enjoyed sitting on lawn chairs as kids ran all over the place, taking in the carnival atmosphere. Members of the Walpole Police Department took turns getting wet as young kids lined up to throw balls at a dunk tank. Walpole Cub Scout Pack 601 had its pinewood derby cars out, and attendees watched them zoom down the ramp. Several bean toss sets were out on the grass, as were other popular yard games. A crowd of young girls stood next to the stone stage as Stacey Peasley performed live original music for those enjoying the pleasant Saturday afternoon.
Sean Koepenick was at the event with his kids and has come to the Ice Cream Festival several times in past years.
“It’s good to have this. It’s good for the whole town and for the community. It’s an event that you get to see a lot of people that you know,” Koepenick said.
Pizza, as well as other snacks, were also on offer in the event that the ice cream - which came in vanilla, chocolate, and mint chocolate chip flavors - wasn’t enough to satisfy individuals’ needs for delicious food.
Given that this was the Ice Cream Festival, though, it was clear that the eponymous cold treat was star of the show. Kids lined up as they had their dishes of ice cream doused in their choice of chocolate syrup, sprinkles, crushed Oreos and gummy bears as toppings.
Nakeeya Jones, who came with family, enjoyed a vanilla ice cream with chocolate Oreos and sprinkles on top. It was the first time that she had come to the Ice Cream Festival.
“It’s very diverse here. I didn’t know what to expect and it has been a great outing,” said Jones. “We’re going to enjoy ourselves.”