Kayla Reinhold works in Brookfield, but lives in Warren and hadn’t spent much time in Brookfield.
“We’re really glad we came. It was a nice little family day.”
Reinhold was speaking of the second day of Summer Fest, the community event sponsored by Brookfield United Methodist Church and held on the green in Brookfield Center. This year, it was held Aug. 10 and 11 under sunny skies.
Reinhold’s daughter, Liliana, and her boyfriend’s daughter, Kylee Rudesill – both girls are 8 – were blowing bubbles at the arts and crafts table after making a blower out of a plastic bottle.
“They will do arts and crafts all day, every day, if they could,” Reinhold said.
Liliana and Kylee also enjoyed the magic show by High 5 the Clown, the bounce house and the pet parade.
“When we got here, I said, ‘Wow, they got a lot of stuff,’” Reinhold said. “If this is an every-year thing, we’re definitely gonna come back. It’s nice. It’s nice that they do this.”
It will be back next year, on Aug. 15 and 16, said Summer Fest Committee Co-Chairman Karen Saker.
Ruth Songer walked over from Wood Street with her mother-in-law and her children, Eloise, 6, and Rose, 4. They moved to Brookfield last September and had never been to Summer Fest before.
“It’s a really nice event for the kids to come out to, a bunch of free things for them to do, like the bouncy house and the slide,” Songer, a Brookfield native, said as her girls waited for High 5 to make balloon animals for them. “They’re really enjoying the clown.”
Jennifer Monroe of Leavittsburg, otherwise known as Crafty Jen, sold blankets, scarves and wreaths. It was her first time being a vendor at Summer Fest.
“It looked like a fun festival,” she said. “You guys got a lot of fun things you do for the kids. A lot.”
Sales had been “OK,” but she deemed the festival worth coming to and probably will come back.
“It’s worth it, because it’s a lot of stuff to watch and a lot of things to see,” Monroe said.
Vicki Clegg of Austintown, who calls her business Damsel in Defense, sold self-defense products for women, including stun guns, pepper sprays and personal alarms. She also was a Summer Fest first-timer.
“It’s a nice little festival,” she said. “I like the activities and stuff for the kids.”
While sales had been “not great,” she said she made plenty of contacts that could turn into business later, and might return next year.
“It’s nice that it’s family-oriented,” Clegg said.
Daniel Briceland, who allows his Briceland Funeral Service parking lot across Route 7 to be used for Summer Fest, always comes to Summer Fest to work at the Jerusalem Lodge 19 of Free and Accepted Masons, Hartford, food booth.
He comes to Summer Fest because, “It’s community,” he said. “That’s it. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.”
Even though Briceland spends most of his time making Mason Burgers – sirloin hamburgers with cheese, onions, mushrooms and dressing on them – he picks his spots to visit, he said.
“It’s good to see everybody,” he said.
Whatever money the Masons make funds their charitable efforts, which include Special Olympics, Briceland said.
Saker, who worked the kids’ arts and crafts booth, said she was pleased with the turnout, and couldn’t say enough about the volunteers, many of whom worked both days.
“Our church people have just been wonderful about volunteering and working hard,” Saker said. “It’s kind of an amazing thing. We thank God for the beautiful weather, because we certainly were blessed, and all the volunteers, and all the folks that came in on the green, everyone that participated. The parade, loved the parade. One of my favorite things is watching that hometown parade come by. When I saw those Marines going by, it just choked me up. The veterans, God bless them.”
Summer Fest honored active military personnel and veterans.
“It makes my heart happy to know that we’re doing this for our town,” Saker said. “Through all these years I’ve lived here. I’ve gotten so much from being a part of Brookfield that it’s so nice to give back. See all the smiling faces – I love the smiles on the kids’ faces when they make something they thought they couldn’t do. I just love that look.”
The committee works to improve Summer Fest each year, this year focusing on beefing up the Sunday schedule, which resulted in better attendance, and buying a new sound system.
Church Pastor Dick Smith said he talked about Summer Fest during the Aug. 11 worship service, which was held on the green amid the Summer Fest booths.
“I said, you know, it gets better every year, and we have a wonderful day of everybody coming together from all over, outside of Brookfield, people from all over coming here, and you can walk around, get something to eat, kids can play games and you have a nice time,” he said. “I talked this morning, how about if we were able to take Summer Fest and have that kind of fellowship and friendliness and good feeling all throughout the year. Unfortunately, we live in the world, the world has something to say about that, but, hey, we’ll go for it.”