CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Nothing goes with a hot, sunny day quite like an ice cream cone.
With temperatures in the upper 80s, hundreds of Charlestonians came out Sunday afternoon for the annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social at Stonewall Jackson Middle School on the West Side.
The event, part of the citywide FestivALL celebration and sponsored by Charleston West Side Main Street, offered food, music, attractions and fun for the whole family.
As attendees lined up for free hand-scooped ice cream and sherbet cones courtesy of United Dairy, they enjoyed music from the Ritch Collins Three-O, who assembled on the lawn, and Charleston Metro Band, Charleston Mountain Mission Youth Choir and Coal Train, who played on the West Side Stage.
West Virginia State Extension Services provided a variety of ice cream topping choices, allowing everyone to customize their own cones.
As the adults lounged in folding chairs set up in the shade and fanned themselves with paper fans to keep cool, children played on the grass, laughing and screaming as they ran around with melting ice cream cones in hand.
Many children sported colorful face pant, which was offered free in a nearby tent.
Dozens of children in line for their turn to play in the bounce house were made-up as bears, tigers and exotic birds. Others displayed peace signs or the flying WVU logo painted on their cheeks.
While enjoying their choice of a chocolate, vanilla or orange sherbet cone attendees were entertained by the antics of Zaz the Clown, who wandered above the crowd on a pair of stilts shouting to passersby.
Zaz, who juggled batons, blew horns and shot his water pistol at unsuspecting eaters, was a favorite with the children.
"We've been coming here for years," said Lois Downs, 61 of South Charleston, who brought her three grandchildren.