Berkley SummerFest events return in June

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 30, 2018

 Becky Mozo, of Berkley, holds up her son, Aiden, so he can hang up his tie-dyed shirt that he made at last year’s Jaycee Jamboree. The event is part of the Berkley Parks and Recreation SummerFest activities, which will kick off this year in June.

Becky Mozo, of Berkley, holds up her son, Aiden, so he can hang up his tie-dyed shirt that he made at last year’s Jaycee Jamboree. The event is part of the Berkley Parks and Recreation SummerFest activities, which will kick off this year in June.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 Penny Umlah and Nataly Gosselin, both of Berkley, have fun on a tire swing during last year’s Jaycee Jamboree, which will take place this summer on July 19.

Penny Umlah and Nataly Gosselin, both of Berkley, have fun on a tire swing during last year’s Jaycee Jamboree, which will take place this summer on July 19.

File photo by Donna Agusti

BERKLEY — With less than a month until the summer season hits, the city of Berkley is looking forward to an array of events put on by its Parks and Recreation Department.

The department’s annual SummerFest event series will kick off in the month of June with three events. First, at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 14, at Jaycee Park, will be the Senior Picnic, followed by Tot Lot Night at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at Tot Lot Park. The last June event will be the Community Garage Sale June 22-23.

After that, the next events will be the Jaycee Jamboree at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Jaycee Park; the Family Movie in the Park at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Oxford/Merchants Park; and the Ice Cream Social at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Berkley Community Center.

Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said that planning for the SummerFest events begins the year before. As the department concludes one year’s event, she said the staff will sit down and talk about what worked, what didn’t and what they’d like to do for the next year.

“We like to keep the events generally the same, because people look forward to them, but also to add new elements and new things to keep people interested and coming back,” she said. 

“We all pitch in with ideas and ways to make the events better, and I mean, it’s just booking whatever we need, whether it’s a bouncer or a climbing wall or the outdoor movie or ice cream or whatever it is — making sure all of those are booked for those days.”

One of the changes, McArleton said, was making the Senior Picnic more like a picnic, as it used to be a senior breakfast or lunch at the Community Center.

“We decided to switch it up this year and actually take it to one of our parks, which is at Jaycee Park,” she said. “It gets our seniors outside, and that park has a pavilion center. There’ll be shade. We’ll be having some entertainment and bringing food for them and really making it sort of a home picnic.”

A concern, as always, with these events is the weather and how it can potentially cancel the festivities. While they’ve been fortunate in the past, McArleton said, people should pay attention to the department’s Facebook page at www.face
book.com/BerkleyParksandRec in case the weather is bad enough to cancel an event.

Debbie Kim, a resident of Berkley for eight years, has been taking her 7-year-old son, Quinten Smith, to SummerFest events since he was born.

Kim said many of the SummerFest events have the same staff members working them, and a lot of the same people attend, so it’s a nice way for her son to see his friends and interact with a lot of people from the community.

“Berkley is really unique in that, because it’s got a small-town vibe to it,” she said. “(Quinten) feels really comfortable, so it’s kind of nice that he can go to these different events and feel comfortable.

“It makes me feel like — because I have only one child — it’s kind of great to see him socialize with the adults there, the kids there, just everybody there,” she said.