As she stood among her sisters and mother, 1-year-old Sydney Kellenberger did her best to eat her ice cream cone without most of it melting onto the ground.
She did that while trying to take in all that was going on around her at the 5th annual Cops and Cones Ice Cream Social in Davenport’s Vander Veer Botanical Park, sponsored by the Davenport Police Association.
It was the biggest Cops and Cones turnout to date.
“This our second year coming,” Sydney’s mom, Rachel Kellenberger, said. It has been about three years since they attended, she said, probably back when her daughter Ariana, who is 4, was about 1-year-old.
Kellenberger’s daughters Amayah, 2, and Sadi, 10, were eating their cones, too.
“They’re loving it,” Kellenberger said of her children. They had not yet toured the police vehicles on display around the park.
“We went for the ice cream first,” Kellenberger said with a laugh. “That was top priority.”
Sadi, who attends Washington Elementary School, said what she liked most was talking with the Davenport Central Blue Devil cheerleaders. She has attended a couple of their camps.
Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen, the police association president, said that he was shocked at the turnout, with the lines forming well before the event began at 6 p.m.
For a good hour the line for ice cream stretched from the south side of the park back to the atrium on the north end, and only dwindled slowly as the two-hour event progressed.
Melinda Glade of Davenport came to the park thinking it was like the parties in the park hosted by the city and realized this was something more.
“I couldn’t believe how big this is,” Glade said, saying this is the first year she and her children Mariah, 10, and Kam, 4, attended the event.
“I was wondering how big this was going to be because there’s no parking,” she said.
When the kids polished off their cones they were going to head to the police vehicles to peek inside.
“We can get inside them,” Glade asked. “Oh, neat.”