WILLIAMSTOWN - More than 1,000 people are expected to gather in Tomlinson Park Friday for the 67th annual Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department Ice Cream Social.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the park with the normal fare of hot dogs, popcorn, pop, coffee, cakes, pies and ice cream available, said Chief Joe Ruf.
"It's like a big reunion," he said. "Several Williamstown High School classes are having reunions this weekend - it's just a time for a lot of friends and family."
Mayor Jean Ford said not only is the social a time for school and family reunions, but it is also used as a general community gathering.
"It's really wonderful," she said.
In past years the ice cream social has served more than 1,000 people with the large attendance attributed to people who come to the area as visitors. Each year the department goes through 40 five-gallon containers of ice cream and countless pints, Ruf said. Half-gallon containers of ice cream will be available for purchase for people to take home.
Proceeds from the social will go to help the department purchase equipment and upgrade programs for the more than 100-year-old department, Ruf said.
"We hope to make about $8,000," he said. "Most of that comes from donations."
Each year, people who attend the social also donate more money to the cause.
"Believe it or not, while people do come to the social and have a hot dot and ice cream, the majority of the money we get is because people find it in their hearts to write a check as a donation," Ruf said.
Unlike other area ice cream socials, the Williamstown social does not have entertainment and is just a gathering of the community. Ruf said that while this is the largest fundraiser for the department, it would exist even if money did not come in.