Cornelius trots out trio of community events, including free ice cream

Harleman Park in Cornelius will be full of Disney movies, helicopter displays and free ice cream this summer, part of an effort to more closely mirror the city’s motto: Oregon’s Family Town.

“It’s our motto, and there’s a fear we’ve been coming out a little hollow on that message,” said Jose Orozco, a Cornelius City councilor.

Three new community events in one month is a good start toward changing that and bringing residents closer to each other, Orozco said.

It would help even more, he said, “to keep the parks clean and have events throughout the year.”

Debbie Roth, city recorder and treasurer, said the issue with bringing families together is that Cornelius is divided by two school districts — Hillsboro’s to the east and Forest Grove’s to the west.

“These events are opportunities to pull citizens together,” Roth said. “The city council’s goals are to increase involvement of the city members and community activities.”

To that end, the city is bringing in Schwan’s giant yellow freezer trucks to serve ice cream from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 31. City council members will attend the ice cream social with their families and are open to both friendly mingling and city-related questions, said Roth.

City Manager Rob Drake came up with the idea, Orozco said, and councilors hope to make it an annual event.

Tonight’s inaugural social will include BJ the Clown, face painting, a backhoe or a dump truck from the Public Works Department and other attractions.

“It’s things that kids ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over,” said Roth.

Another new, family-friendly offering is Flicks in the Park. At dusk (around 8:30) on Aug. 14, Disney’s “The Love Bug” will project on a large inflatable screen. On Aug. 21, Disney’s “Bedtime Stories” will play. Both films will have Spanish subtitles, said Orozco.

Families are encouraged to bring their own blankets and picnic dinners. No alcohol is allowed and pets are strongly discouraged.

Drake’s fingerprints are all over this event as well, given that Beaverton started its own “Flicks by the Fountain” event 10 years ago, while Drake was still mayor there.

“It’s great having Rob around. He has so much experience doing these things in Beaverton,” Roth said. “He knows who to call.”

Thanks to Drake, Comcast donated $1,000 to the cause, helping to offset the costs of the screen and renting the films, said Roth.

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