Lucy Showler, of Berkley, hangs up a tie-dyed shirt that she made during the 2019 Jaycee Jamboree at Jaycee Park. The event, along with others put on by Berkley Parks and Recreation, is scheduled to occur this summer.

Lucy Showler, of Berkley, hangs up a tie-dyed shirt that she made during the 2019 Jaycee Jamboree at Jaycee Park. The event, along with others put on by Berkley Parks and Recreation, is scheduled to occur this summer.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


Berkley bringing back SummerFest events after pandemic delay

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 30, 2021

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BERKLEY — The Berkley Parks and Recreation Department will be bringing back its slate of summer events after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Berkley is hosting its SummerFest events beginning in June and running through August. The department wasn’t able to host any of these events last year due to concerns with the pandemic.

Director Theresa McArleton said the department has been talking for the last several months about what this summer would look like in terms of events. It wasn’t until just recently that the department was able to finalize what it would hold and when.

The first event will be the Senior “To Go” Picnic at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the Community Center lawn, 2400 Robina Ave. The month of June also will host a citywide garage sale June 18-19 and a movie night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, at the center.

In July, the department’s Jaycee Jamboree will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Jaycee Park. The next week, a concert will be held at 7 p.m July 29 at Oxford/Merchants Park.

August will bring two events: another movie night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, at Oxford/Merchants Park, and an ice cream social from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, at Community Park.

“Everybody has just missed that little bit of normalcy,” Friends of Berkley Parks and Recreation Vice President Amy Lister said about attending events like these again. “Being able to be out with the community and do these events, they always get quite a good turnout. So I think that everybody just missed being able to be outside and be together.”

Lister said the group is excited about the return of SummerFest, and she expects that members will help when they can as volunteers.

“Even if we’re not there to volunteer … usually somebody’s there, either just hanging out with their family or to help out when they’re needed,” she said. “We all have kids, so I know they’re all excited. (We’re excited about) just being able to get back out there and see friends and neighbors like we used to.”

All events are subject to change or cancellation.

“Anything that we do throughout this almost last year and a half, and moving forward throughout 2021, is that way,” McArleton said. “Whether it’s due to COVID or weather — but particularly due to COVID — absolutely anything is subject to change. At this point, they’re still scheduled and we’re planning to have them.”

While the department was able to hold some small gatherings last fall, it has not put together any events since 2019. Because the department is still taking coronavirus concerns into consideration, McArleton said, some events were changed when they were being organized.

The department usually held an event at Tot Lot Park with water attractions for kids, but it will not take place this year. Parks and Recreation also would bring snack options like popcorn machines or snow cones to events, but those also will be absent for health concerns.

That being said, McArleton felt that being able to be back together in a community setting like this is an important development.

“This is what we do and this is what we love,” she said. “We love community events, we love seeing people there and offering something for people to do. Obviously, it’s optional if you want to attend, but I think now more than ever the ability to see other people and have these events is more important than it ever was before.”

Residents can find out more information about these events by contacting the Parks and Recreation Department at the Community Center at (248) 658-3470.

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