WILLIAMSTOWN - The 69th annual Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department Ice Cream Social is expected to fill Tomlinson Park today.
Beginning at 6 p.m., hot dogs, popcorn, pop, coffee, cakes, pies, and, of course, ice cream will be available in the park, located on Highland Avenue, according to fire Chief J.L. Dean.
Mayor Jean Ford said the social is often used as a time for school and family reunions as well as a general community gathering.
More than 1,000 people are expected to gather, rain or shine, in the city's largest park for the event with banners announcing where certain years classes of Williamstown High School graduates will meet to begin their weekend of reunion activities.
For the second year, West Fifth Street will be closed from the Williamstown Library to Highland Avenue for tables to be set up on the flat street and have better access to Armstrong Garden, which will also be available to the social attendees.
"This is the first year the Armstrong Garden will be incorporated into the social," said city councilman Marty Seufer. "Which is fantastic."
The garden, located across West Fifth Street from the park, was officially opened just before the social last year.
Each year the department goes through 40, five-gallon containers of ice cream and countless pints, said Dean. Half gallon containers of ice cream will also be available for purchase for people to take home.
Proceeds from the social will go to help the department purchase equipment and upgrade programs for the more than 100-year-old department, Dean said.
"Proceeds from this year's ice cream social will help us pay for new firefighting equipment and upgrades to our fleet," Dean said. "The purchase of this new equipment will allow us to continue to provide you with effective fire protection."
The department hopes to raise about $8,000 from the event each year, as it is the largest fundraiser for the department.
"Over the past years, our fire department has served this area with pride and loyalty," said Dean. "As we continue to do so, the cost of fire equipment, training and upgrades continue to climb."
As in years past, the department is asking for community members to donate cakes and pies for the social.
All food donations must be delivered to the Williamstown City Building on East Fifth Street any time today.
Due to health regulations, cream pies, pumpkin and sweet potato pies are not allowed to be sold, so do not donate them for the social.
For more information contact the Williamstown City Building at 304-375-7761.