Reynoldsburg will start its summer event season with something new this year -- a luau in Old Reynoldsburg.
The luau is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Lancaster Avenue will be blocked off from Main Street to Broadwyn Road from 4:30 to 9 p.m. that evening.
"Our vision is to create opportunities for residents to get outside and connect with people in their community," Mayor Brad McCloud said.
Jennifer Clemens, the city's special events and media coordinator, said the event is free and will feature live entertainment by the Hunter Band. Food and drink specials will be available from Vick's Pizza and Prost Beer and Wine Cafe.
Cotner Funeral Home will sponsor a bounce house for children, plus games and other activities.
Barth Cotner said he is happy to sponsor Saturday nights in Old Reynoldsburg.
"These events are wonderful ways for families and friends to gather in the heart of our city and strengthen community bonds," he said.
Food truck festivals
The city's monthly Food Truck Festivals will return for the third year, starting at 5 p.m. Friday, June 8, at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main St. Other festivals are planned July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14, Parks and Recreation Department Director Donna Bauman said.
"The food truck nights came about from discussion with our Parks and Recreation Commission and have been well received by the community," she said.
Bauman said various groups have been booked to perform at the festivals, all of which are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Hunter Band will perform June 8; the Reynoldsburg Community Band is booked for July 13; Brad McCloud and Friends will perform Aug. 10 and Just Jazz Live will entertain Sept. 14.
Bauman said games will be available for children, such as an oversized version of the classic four-in-a-row; a giant block-tower game; bubbles, jump ropes, etc.
Face painting and a balloon artist will be on hand July 13.
McCloud said community events bring people closer together and make the city "a great place to live."
"By initiating these events, we are fostering an environment of community so that citizens of all ages have a sense of belonging," he said.
Movie nights in Huber Park kick off with activities at 6 p.m., with the movie to begin at dusk. "Wonder" will be screened Saturday, June 9, at 1520 Davidson Drive.
Other movies to be shown this summer include "Despicable Me" June 23; "Star Wars - the Last Jedi" July 7; "The Good Dinosaur" July 21; "Coco" Aug. 11 and "Zootopia" Aug. 25.
"A hot dog vendor will be at every movie night and an ice cream truck will be present at select nights," Bauman said.
She said activities before the movie will include jump rope, hula-hoops and crafts, along with soccer balls and footballs, plus games from the Food Truck Festival nights.
"The YMCA is expected to be at the June 23 movie night with their Gaga Pit," she said.
Bauman said the Reynoldsburg Community Association sponsored the movie nights from 2008-2010. When she was appointed director of Parks & Recreation in 2015, Bauman brought back the movie nights.
"The city offers these events as a way for the community to come out and enjoy our parks, meet new people and have a night of fun that is very economical," she said.
"There is no fee to attend the movie night or to participate in the activities at the Food Truck Festival. The food truck vendors have reasonably priced menus."
"Our vision is to create opportunities for residents to get outside and connect with people in their community."
-- BRAD MCCLOUD