Jefferson Township residents won't be able to enjoy the traditional ice cream social this July because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but a couple of neighborhoods could win delivery of Velvet Ice Cream.
After deciding last month to cancel this year's social, the parks board brainstormed ideas for alternative events to keep the community involved this summer, said Kelly Kiener, assistant township administrator.
Susan Lewis Kaylor, chairwoman of the Jefferson Township parks board, said board members are neighbors who are creative and always looking for ways to serve the community and showcase township parks.
"We brainstormed fun and creative ways to reimagine our summer community activities in a safe way during COVID-19," she said.
A contest has been created in which township residents are asked to collaborate with their neighbors to showcase their social distancing summer community spirit.
They must create a two- to three-minute video showing anything from honoring frontline heroes, celebrating the class of 2020 or fun in the sun and post it at facebook.com/jeffersontownshipohio or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The parks board will judge the videos based on originality, creativity, neighborhood collaboration, expression of theme and overall impression and memorability, Lewis Kaylor said.
Videos must be submitted by June 30, and more than two neighborhoods may be chosen to receive the mobile ice cream social.
Lewis Kaylor said State Bank & Trust Co, 94 Granville St. in Gahanna, has offered the use of its refrigerated food truck normally used for parades and community festivals.
"Every year, we partner with Velvet Ice Cream," she said. "We don't know what social distancing will look like. We will go to neighborhoods in a safe way on Saturday, July 18."
Depending on social-distancing guidelines at that time, Lewis Kaylor said, the truck could go to a central area of the neighborhood or deliver direct to residents' driveways.
She said the annual ice cream social has been held over 15 years at Jefferson Community Park, 7494 Clark State Road.
"It's really well-attended," Lewis Kaylor said. "It's one of the most popular summer events with over 200 residents."
Normally, there would be old-fashion lawn games, she said.
"It's a simple way to say hello to your neighbors," Lewis Kaylor said.