JACKSON TWP. People wanting to have a lunch or dinner with their family in Jackson Township’s North Park had the opportunity to select from a number of different foods when the township debuted its Dine-In at Jackson North Park on May 22.


The event was planned be it rain or shine. The day saw a non-stop rain throughout most of the day until early evening.


Trustees decided to offer the event for a number of reasons, including that food trucks and vendors have had most of their summer season canceled or curtailed.


“We know that food vendors with trailers, food trucks, etc., are going to have a very limited summer season if one at all, so we were looking to add something that could give the community another option to look forward to for food, use our park to bring people outside, and give those businesses an option to work,” Trustee Todd Hawke said. “The event is for letting concession vendors setup and have space for an afternoon and evening in North Park.”


Hawke said trustees will determine later if they will hold the event again throughout the summer. This decision along with whether to cancel or reschedule the Community Celebration and more information on the Farmer’s Market (starting on July 2) will be made as decisions are made by Gov. Mike DeWine’s Fair Advisory Group.


“We want to see how the first Dine-In event goes to see if we can accomplish all of the proper safety and health considerations in place,” Hawke said. “If we see success and a way to replicate this safely, we may continue to look at more options going forward. Time is running short for the decision on the Community Celebration. If we don’t get guidance from the state soon, we’ll have to make a decision using the information we have available.”


Peggy Walker from Tim & Pegs food stand said, “Business has been ok, we’ve had a lot of rain throughout the day but some people have come out.”


Hawke added that they had to limit the number of food vendors in order to “manage the safety aspect from a distancing perspective.”


Hawke said the trustees are doing all they can to maintain options to allows residents to stay safe while enjoying some things that are the same or “resemble some of the things that have normally been done.”


There were park employees at the event who were wiping the picnic tables off after each person or group used the table.


“We are looking to do things that can create opportunities to bring some of the ’old normals’ to our residents within the health guidelines we have to work with at this time,” Hawke said.