BELOIT - Tasty ice cream was served and creativity was flowing at Beckman Mill County Park on Sunday.
Friends of Beckman Mill hosted its annual Ice Cream Social and Artists in the Park event, drawing a large crowd of visitors from near and far.
"We really enjoy hosting this event because it is a family affair and is a good way to showcase what we have at the park," said event chair Shari Disrud.
The day's activities started off with artists setting up shop among the trees, working on their craft and chatting with passersby.
Tours of the Beckman Mill and cooperage museum also were offered. Ice cream-making took place mid-way through the event.
All afternoon, kids were encouraged to find inspiration from their beautiful surroundings and draw or paint a masterpiece to take home.
"I've been coming out to Beckman Mill since I was really young and it's a great space," said Orfordville native Savanna Grayless, who was working on a painting.
Grayless now lives in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, and works as a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife technician. She rediscovered art a couple years ago.
"I really love to paint and lately I've been working on a lot of florals, but I also do portraits and commission pieces," she said.
Nearby, Ben Fox, 3, was taking a break from the excitement to eat a slice of cake and some strawberry ice cream.
He enjoyed the event with big sister Claire and grandpa and grandpa Ruthann and Tim Whitney, of Beloit.
"We really like this park because it's beautiful," Tim Whitney said. "It's their first time at the Mill and we thought they'd enjoy the artwork and seeing one of our favorite places."
Beckman Mill County Park is located at 11600 S. County Road H, 6 miles west of Beloit. In addition to the 150-year-old grist mill, the park has a beautiful pond, garden and walking trails.
The Mill is open for tours from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through October. The next major Friends of Beckman Mill event will be Heritage Sunday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sept. 8.
"Heritage Sunday is our biggest event of the year, so we hope to see a lot of people out," Disrud said. "This park is a really great, quiet place where everyone can come enjoy nature."
For more information on Beckman Mill and how to get involved in Friends of Beckman Mill, visit www.beckmanmill.org.