Lakeside’s popular Wednesday Night Family Picnics have returned.WednesdayNightFamilyPicnic_0018Week_2_Patterson2114

At 5:30 p.m. there will be 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 Wednesday Night Family Picnics started in 1995, with a package of hot dogs, a bag of chips and a few families. It has grown to be one of Lakeside’s favorite summer traditions.

The picnic has seen as many as 530 people attend on a single night. The food is picnic fare, but the real draw of this event is the relaxing and tranquil 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 has become a great success.

Lakeside invites families and children of all ages to join this week’s family picnic in Perry Park. Serving begins at 5:30 p.m. and continues until the food runs out. The suggested donation is $3 per person, and children age 5 and under are free.

Since there is usually a large crowd at the picnic, please arrive early. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, as picnic table space is limited.

Reducing waste is promoted by the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society (LESS), Chip Richter and John Wilkie. Guests are enouraged to carry-in, and take back home, their own reusable table service, including plates, cups, utensils and napkins.

In the event of rain, the picnic is cancelled.