YOUNGSTOWN – The Village of Youngstown will hold its annual Community Picnic from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in Falkner Park.
The day’s activities kick off with a children’s fishing derby, sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association, from 8 a.m. to noon at the South Dock.
Opening ceremonies will start at noon in the park, with Boy Scout Troop 829 presenting the colors, Marsh and Monte singing the national anthem, Mayor Raleigh Reynolds welcoming the community, and the Rev. Rex Stewart providing a prayer.
“This is the village’s way of giving back to the community and bringing everyone together,” said Tina Oddy, who is co-chairwoman of the event with Beverly Van Dusen. “There are a lot of clubs, organizations and businesses here, and they are all involved. Everyone participates, and that’s what makes it successful.”
The village provides hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages for the picnic, and families are asked to bring a dish to pass. The Youngstown Lions Club will man the grills, and Youngstown Baptist Church will coordinate food service. Local restaurants will provide their specialties, including: the Village Diner, Main Street Gas and Grille, Bandana’s, Ontario House, Mug and Musket and the Jaguar at the Bistro.
Activities throughout the day include: a bounce house; wading pool; Shenandoah Acres petting zoo; old-fashioned games like egg toss, water balloon toss, wheelbarrow race and potato sack race; and a watermelon-eating contest. The Presbyterian Church Youth Group will provide face-painting, while the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Department gives fire truck rides around the village, and the Youngstown Business and Professional Association sponsors an ice cream sundae station. Also, a children’s craft corner will be offered, as well as a sidewalk chalk contest and entertainment by Donuts the Clown.
Participants may look for information and display tables from a variety of local organizations, including the Youngstown Free Library, Old Fort Niagara, the U.S. Coast Guard, Youngstown Heritage Tours and Tourism, Town of Porter Historical Society, Wild Kritters, SPCA Puppy Kissing Booth and Niagara Jet Adventures.
Youngstown Heritage Tours and Tourism will dedicate a large graphic kiosk heritage map at 1 p.m. in the park.
Also new this year, the 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Committee will have children release 4,500 ladybugs around 2:30 p.m. (after the old-fashioned games and watermelon-eating contest). They also will provide educational information about ladybugs and a children’s craft.
This is the 10th year for the picnic, which debuted during the village’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2004.
“We’ve held it every year since then,” said Oddy. “The community really puts this together. There are a lot of people involved in this.”
Oddy is chairwoman of the Youngstown Recreation Committee and Van Dusen is a former village trustee.