BROOKLYN, Ohio – Now that spring has arrived, Brooklyn officials are planning a number of social-distancing outdoor programs.
âWe believe the community is keen to resume as many activities as possible in general, but especially outdoor programming,â said Brooklyn Recreation Commissioner Jack Abbruzzese. âObviously, it has to be done in a safe and responsible manner, which it will be.
âOur department is responsible for offering activities for all ages and interests. Summer events are a big part of these offerings, âhe said.
âIt will help promote a positive experience, coming out of all the indoor fall and winter activities, and will help bring the community together in a way, as we have all been separated in so many ways.â
One of the events that happened last year was the town’s annual free family movie nights, which took place in a socially distanced fashion in the west parking lot of the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.
Family fun continues this year with “The Sand Lot” (May 27), “Spies in Disguise” (July 21) and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (August 25). Places are limited, with online registration required.
Brooklyn is also bringing back its free spring and summer concerts, featuring Flipside (June 9), Funkology (June 23), The Diamond Project Band (July 7), Chardon Polka Band (August 11) and Becky Boyd and the Grove Train ( September 8) appearing at the Grand Pavilion in Memorial Park.
âBrooklyn is excited to bring back some of our summer events,â said Mayor Katie Gallagher. âWe can’t wait to see our residents in person, enjoy each other and the parks while listening to some great live music in the sun. “
The Recreation Commissioner expects about 100 people to attend family movie nights, while the summer concerts will attract 200 community members.
âWe actually added more concerts and films this year than in previous years,â said Abbruzzese. âWe felt comfortable doing it, referring to the attendance numbers that we have had in recent years. It will be manageable to keep the security protocols in place.
âBeing outdoor events, we will have appropriate signage posted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health promoting the wearing of masks and social distancing.
âUnfortunately, we will not allow dancing at concerts or gatherings in large groups. Families and groups for all events will be encouraged to stay with the groups they arrived in.
Fun for seniors too
The Brooklyn Senior Center also hosts many outdoor events.
âI am very happy that we can finally do something to reconnect with our seniors safely,â said Karen Fratto, Brooklyn Senior Center coordinator. âSeniors are thrilled to have events to look forward to this spring and summer. They are eager to regain some sense of normalcy.
Seniors Center events begin with the âRemote Spring Gatheringâ. From noon to 2 p.m. on May 19 at the Grand Pavilion in Brooklyn Memorial Park, the city will be offering free hot dogs, fries and cold drinks. There will also be bingo to win prizes. (Registration begins April 26).
Next up is a âRoll out the Barrelâ affair, with the Wayne Tomsic Trio performing from 1 pm to 3 pm on June 16 at the Grand Pavilion. (Registration begins June 1).
There is also a âDrive up Ice Cream Socialâ scheduled from 1 pm to 2 pm on July 14 at the Seniors Center (registration begins June 28), as well as a âBeach Blanket Bingoâ from 10 am to noon. August 18 at the Grand Pavillon (registration begins August 2). The latter offers bingo and music from the 1960s.
Brooklyn Senior Center members are encouraged to bring a lawn chair to every event, as well as to register early by calling 216-635-4222.
âThe majority of our seniors have been vaccinated so they are more confident going back to public, but we will still maintain social distancing and mask safety measures at these outdoor events,â Fratto said.
Speaking of vaccinations, some residents are wondering when the Brooklyn Senior Center will be able to reopen for indoor programming.
âUntil we get word from the governor’s office which we can safely open, we’re going to hold back and just hold outdoor events,â Fratto said.
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