AMESBURY — Burgers, hot dogs and ice cream will be on the menu when the Council on Aging hosts its annual summer cookout at the Nicholas J. Costello Transportation Center on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Although the summer barbecue has traditionally been held indoors at the Holy Family Parish Hall, Council on Aging Director Doreen Arnfield said she and her staff wanted to highlight the council’s home at 68 Elm St. while also celebrating summer outdoors.

“We’re going to have a carnival atmosphere and we’re going to be making it a lot of fun for people. It really is something to look forward to,” she said.

Roots and blues band Jumpin’ Juba will provide the music for the event courtesy of the Amesbury Cultural Council, and Vermette’s Super Market is donating the hot dogs, hamburgers and rolls, Arnfield said.

The summer barbecue will also feature an ice cream social, courtesy of Hodges Ice Cream.

Arnfield said she expects at least 100 people to attend. Tickets are $7, $5 for members of the Friends of the Council on Aging.

Parking will be available in the nearby Coastal Connections parking lot, with a free shuttle available as well.

“That way, people won’t need to walk that far,” Arnfield said.

Although its volunteer base is not where it was before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020, Arnfield said the Council on Aging is almost at full strength.

“We had about 130 volunteers before the pandemic and we have about 80 now,” she said. “We’re not completely there with our volunteer base yet but we are still doing well.”

The Council on Aging has also returned to daily programming and has been seeing strong attendance, according to Arnfield.

“We’ve got mahjong and exercise classes and everything is filled up. So I think people are feeling fairly comfortable,” she said. “We have air purifiers in the building and we still keep those on. Some people are still wearing masks but I think the comfort level is much better than where it was before.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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