During a summer when a multitude of annual events have been cancelled, one tradition will continue.
First United Methodist Church of Tomah is moving ahead with its annual Saturday, July 4 summer ice cream social from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church parking lot on Butts Avenue.
The event won’t look exactly the same as last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lamont Kiefer, one of the organizers, said church members were determined to keep the ice cream social alive in some form. Instead of a dine-in meal, food will be distributed via drive-though.
“This has been a tradition of ours,” Kiefer said. “We wanted to help the community with a little bit of normalcy.”
The decision came after the church prepared, assembled and distributed 250 meals June 15 for the Tomah Community Dinner. Kiefer said special procedures that included the use of masks and gloves and continuous hand-washing allowed dinner to be served “without a hitch.”
“It was a trial run,” he said.
Kiefer said adjustments have been made to the menu. It includes a brat or hot dog, condiment packets, a bag of chips, homemade brownie, ice cream cup and a bottle of water for $5.
The ice cream cup will replace scooped ice cream. Unlike past years, there won’t be any pie.
“We were reluctant to bring pies from a bunch of different places,” Kiefer said. “We needed something we could pre-package.”
Customers are asked to present exact change, if possible.
Kiefer said the ice cream social is a convenient fit with the Tomah Independence Day parade that’s following a different route this year. The procession starts north on Butts Avenue from Recreation Park at 10 a.m., and the church will enter two floats in the parade.
“It’s perfect for us,” he said. “We’re right on the route.”
Kiefer said half the funds will go to the church with the other half funding Noah’s Ark Preschool.
“I feel good about it,” he said. “We need it as a church, and the community needs it as an event.”
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.
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