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by Susan Mikula Campbell
Church services, a rock climbing wall, live animals, games, music, demonstrations and plenty of food - the 34th annual Wheatfield Family Picnic at Fairmount Park this Sunday, Aug. 19, has it all.
The event will actually start Saturday at dusk with an outdoor movie showing of "Transformers." Admission both days is free.
Activities get under way at the park, located at Nash and Steig roads in Wheatfield at 10:45 a.m. with a flag raising ceremony, followed by church services at 11 a.m. Catholic services with the Rev. Francis Weldgen are in the large pavilion. Lutheran/Protestant services with the Rev. Ronald Sallach are in the large tent. Then it's a day full of fun, capped off by a concert by A List from 6 to 9 p.m.
"I think we've got a pretty good event this year," said picnic committee member Ed Sturgeon, who is also the town's recreation director. "I hope everybody comes out."
New attractions have been added to the popular favorites of the past. People with children can enjoy the petting zoo, hay rides and pony rides and take advantage of the child identification program and child car seat checks. In addition to the A List concert, there will be music by Sterling Sound and the Bergholz German Band.
Don't go away hungry; there's barbecued chicken, sno cones, cotton candy, pizza, wings, hot dogs, souvlaki, gyros, hamburgers, roast beef, corn and chowder.
For Wheatfield Town Cheerleading, the picnic represents their major fundraiser of the year, Sturgeon said. They will be offering both a basket raffle and a Chiavetta's chicken barbecue. For the past two years, the barbecue has been a sellout. To make sure no one goes away disappointed, an extra 150 chickens have been ordered this year, he said.
The Chiavetta's barbecued chicken dinner is $9 and includes a half chicken, potato salad, cole slaw and roll with butter. A limited amount of pre-sale tickets are available, and walk-up orders will be taken at the picnic. Dinners will be served from noon to 4 p.m.
Basket auction items include school supplies, home decorating goods, sporting goods, food and drink items as well as multiple gift cards for local stores and restaurants. Basket auction tickets are $5 for a sheet of tickets.
WTC has more than 100 kids, ages 3-18 from Wheatfield and surrounding cities, according to Kristen Phillips, president of WTC. Contact them at [email protected] for more information about the organization.
Each of the WTC's five teams will be doing demonstrations throughout the day, starting with the littlest ones, the Half-Karats, around 1 p.m., she said.
"Our cheerleaders love it! They get to show off everything that they've been working on all summer. They love the attention and response they get from the crowds. It's great for the community to see what exactly it is that our kids do," Phillips said.
For more picnic information and a schedule, visitwww.wheatfieldfamilypicnic.com.