Evanston community gathers for ice cream social at Mason Park


Luis Castaneda/The Daily Northwestern

A free ice cream social at Mason Park brought out residents in the Evanston community for food, fun and games.

Kunjal Bastola

Members of the Evanston community ventured out to Mason Park on Friday to soak up the sun, mingle with other residents and best of all: snack on free food, including pizza and ice cream. 

STEM School Evanston partnered with Northwestern and the city to host the free ice cream social event, which featured a bouncy house, face painting, food and more outdoor activities. 

“(The event) is an opportunity to bring out families, expose them a little bit to STEM (and) build like a family and community,” said Henry Wilkins, one of the founders of STEM School Evanston.

The organization formed to advocate for and work toward opening a STEM-focused community school in Evanston.

Wilkins said the event had been in the works, and the partnership with the city helped make it a reality. 

Representatives from multiple Evanston institutions, such as the Evanston Public Library, helped set up tables in the park for the event. 

“We were actually invited by STEM School Evanston,” said Carmen Francellno, an engagement coordinator for EPL. “(We) definitely wanted to come out and support the work that they’re doing in highlighting the Evanston community, and just wanted to show our support in you know, being a resource.” 

With a Domino’s pizza delivery, an assortment of chips and sodas, and — of course — ice cream, kids and adults spent their Friday evening basking in the sun and meeting their neighbors. 

For some, the event was an opportunity to bring their children, or grandchildren, out to enjoy the warm weather and take part in a community event.

“(There’s) not a lot for the kids to do in Evanston any more,” Evanston resident Glenda Stinnette said. “They have to come to events like this, and I’m glad that they’re having an event like that one.” 

Wilkins said he hoped that hosting the event would allow for the community to learn about the STEM School Evanston and engage with one another. 

“Hopefully people come out and enjoy themselves, look for STEM School Evanston and other activities,” Wilkins said.

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Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

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