WednesdayNightFamilyPicnic_0018Week_2_Patterson2114The Wednesday Night Family Picnics started in 1995 with a package of hot dogs, a bag of chips and a few families. It has grown into one of Lakeside’s favor­ite summer traditions.

The picnic has seen as many as 530 people on a sin­gle night. The food is picnic fare, but the real draw is the relaxed setting combined with the spirit of community and fellowship.

With the help of many vol­unteers, Lakeside Chautau­qua’s Children Ministries & Youth Ministries staff (who host the event), as well as in­dividual families, the picnic program has become a great success.

Lakeside invites families and children of all ages to this summer’s first Family Picnic on Wednesday, June 24, at 5 p.m. in Perry Park.

Each picnic begins with music playing, the smell of hot dogs cooking, a huge line stretching to the tennis courts, children playing with bubbles and chalk, and chairs and blankets spread across the park.

The suggested donation is $4 per person, and children age 5 and under are free.

Serving begins at 5:30 p.m. and continues until the food runs out. Since there is usually a large crowd at the picnic, please arrive ear­ly. Guests are asked to bring their own plates, utensils and a blanket or lawn chair, as picnic table space is limited.

In the event of rain, the picnic is cancelled. The final picnic is Wednesday, Aug. 26.