YOUNGSTOWN — Organizers of the eight annual Community Picnic are hoping hundreds of local residents and their families will take advantage of the free event Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Falkner Park.
"We've had tremendous support from local businesses and organizations," said Tina Oddy, who chairs the Youngstown Recreation Commission and co-chairs the picnic. She noted it is a prime example of people coming together at a special time.
Oddy said that in addition to inviting families to bring a dish to pass, a number of local restaurants and farmers markets are contributing special dishes.
Participating restaurants include the Village Diner (oriental salad), Main Street Gas & Grill and Brennan's (pizza), The Stone Jug (macaroni salad) and Bandana's (macaroni and cheese).
Tom Tower's Market and Sanger's Market, both on Lockport Road, are providing items too. The Youngstown Lions Club members will serve hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages.
Oddy said Tuesday that she was amazed by the obvious willingness of local organizations and volunteer groups offering to help in any way to assure the success of the event.
A few examples: The Youth Group of the First Presbyterian Church will provide face painting; Kids Count will staff an ice cream station; the Youngstown Recreation Department helping coordinate games (e.g. water balloon toss, three-legged and potato sack races, and an egg toss). Lions Club members will be supervise kiddie carnival games. Stevie Fleck of the Brass Monkeez will perform between 1 and 4 p.m.
Earlier in the day, families are invited to bring their youngsters to the Children's Fishing Derby, from 8 a.m. to noon at the South Dock in the village. The Niagara River Anglers Association will guide youngsters with fishing and help organizers with choosing prizes for them.
Paul Jackson, president of the association, said his group will "do all the legwork" as far as directing the kids and explaining what they can catch." Every youngster participating in the derby will receive a prize.
Immediately after the derby, a grand opening for the Community Picnic will include the local Young Marines presenting the colors and Kate Mieth, a recent Lewiston-Porter graduate, singing the national anthem. The Rev. Charles Lamb, assistant to the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, will offer the prayer. Mayor Raleigh Reynolds also will welcome residents and their families.