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Mt. Pleasant school and community picnic is June 16

| Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 8:15 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society vice president and school picnic committee member Jim Lozier gathers baskets at the Overly Log House in the borough for use during the drawing to be held Tuesday at the annual Mt. Pleasant school/community picnic at Idlewild Park & Soak Zone in Ligonier Township.

The annual Mt. Pleasant school and community picnic has become a long-standing tradition for those living throughout the area.

It's one that people look forward to every year, according to Mt. Pleasant Borough Mayor Gerald Lucia.

“I think that it's a day that people like to get out and enjoy the park, and see their friends from the community,” he said.

On Tuesday, the event will be held once again at Idlewild Park & SoakZone in Ligonier Township.

“People who (go) there with their children and grandchildren can tell you about coming to the picnic when they were kids,” Lucia said.

The Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society is sponsoring the event. Society members have been planning this year's picnic since early spring.

One of the group's biggest missions is to get as many donations from area businesses as can be offered during the afternoon raffle drawing held at the picnic.

“The drawing always brings in a crowd,” said Richard Snyder, president of the society's board of directors. “I think that it's one of the highlights of the day for people,” he said. The drawing will be at the park's main stage at 3 p.m. Attendees must be present to claim a prize.

Each year, society volunteers mail out a bevy of letters soliciting donations from businesses and organizations, said Jim Lozier, vice president the society's board of directors.

“I think that I can safely say that we mail out about 150 letters,” he said.

As a result, the society received many prizes for inclusion in the raffle, such as golf packages, teeth whitening packages, theater tickets and gift cards from area businesses and restaurants, Lozier added.

“Everyone is to make sure that they ask for the green ticket at the entry gate when they come that will then be used for the afternoon drawing,” he said.

One of the main prizes again this year will be a bicycle donated by Mt. Pleasant Township's board of supervisors.

“That's been a tradition for a long, long time,” township Supervisor Frank Puskar said. “They gave away the bikes back when I was a kid. It's something that we like to do for our community.”

Fellow township Supervisor Duane Hutter said he anticipates the event every year, and he likes to see the families attend together to enjoy the day.

“It's all about family coming together, and we all need family,” he said. “It's so nice to see everyone from the community come out.”

There will be designated picnic areas and pavilions marked at the park and reserved for Mt. Pleasant-area residents.

Lozier said he hopes to see great community support for the event. Society members recently discovered newspaper articles from the 1960s that reported 7,000 area residents to have attended the picnic, he said.

“The whole town used to close down and everyone would go to the picnic,” Lozier said. “While I'm sure we won't see that many, it will be nice to see a good turnout.”

The picnic was held for many years in July, but the decision was eventually made to hold it in June to try to increase interest, Snyder said.

“We found that it was conflicting with too many vacations for families, and they couldn't make it,” Snyder said. “Having it earlier in the year might help to get more people there.”

There are numerous area locations offering tickets for the day at the discounted price of $22.50, which is almost half off the park's regular day pass gate price of $41.99.

“Tickets that we sell can be used other days, too,” Lozier said.

The discount tickets can also be used on any weekday through July 2, he added, and they can also be used Sept. 5-7, Sept. 12-13, and Sept. 19-20.

“We will also be offering the discount tickets for two weeks after the picnic at all the locations that are selling them,” Lozier said.

Discount tickets are available at Shop n' Save, Standard Bank, Joe's Pools, Brady's Restaurant, Coke's Barber Shop, Hayden's Pharmacy, Johnson's Hardware, and the offices of the Mt. Pleasant Township board of supervisors and the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.