On Tuesday afternoon, 16 youngsters got a special surprise after swimming in the high school pool – free root beer floats from St. Helena’s A&W Restaurant, to celebrate National Root Beer Float Day. The kids, from ages 5 to 10, participated in this week’s “City Planning Adventure Day Camp,” sponsored by the St. Helena Parks & Recreation Department.
Some of the reactions to the root beer floats: “I love it because I love the flavor of vanilla ice cream and root beer,” said one girl; another added, “It was delicious.”
At 3 p.m., restaurant employees had given away quite a few root beer floats, although the special had been only going for an hour. The free floats were in honor of National Root Beer Float Day also included a collection for Disabled American Veterans. The give-away was slated to end at 8 p.m.
On June 20, A&W became the first American restaurant chain to turn 100. Peter Knight is the owner of both the St. Helena and Lodi A&W Restaurants. This is A&W’s seventh annual National Root Beer Float Day and its third year of partnering with DAV.
The Day Camp is based at the Valley Oak Building, the old Head Start building, at Crane Park. The one-week sessions began June 17 and will continue until Aug. 10. The day camp is held from noon through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and swimming is from 1-3 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Each week, there has been a different theme, based around St. Helena city departments. Field trips were taken each Wednesday. Each week, activities offered were arts and crafts, games and sports, movies and books and swimming and water play.
Recreation supervisors were Stephanie Iacobacci and Amalia Kulczycki; additional staff were Ana Plancarte, Vicky Martinez, Jazmin Robledo and Elizabeth Garcia.
As this editor waited at the stoplight at Grayson Avenue, he noticed four people walking back to the parked Wine Train engine. Each had distinctive root beer floats in their hands.