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Penn Township community picnic is 'for the kids'

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 10:56 a.m.

Whether you are a kid - or wish you were - you'll be right at home at the annual Penn Township Community Picnic at Idlewild Park in Ligonier because it has always been dedicated to the younger set.

That's what picnic committee chairman Bob Geiger says. And he should know. He became the godfather of the community picnic 16 summers ago and he's not going to give up his commitment to celebrating the children.

Family-friendly Idlewild Park was the perfect choice for a community picnic, he says.

'It's a park for the kids. And this picnic is for the kids. They had a couple of picnics at Bushy Run years ago and the kids ran around a little, but there wasn't as much for them to do as they can at Idlewild. They can run around a little, and then ride or get wet,' he says.

The 12-member picnic committee has been meeting since June to prepare for the annual gala expected to attract around 1,500 this year. The final committee session will be Monday.

Even the traditional date for the picnic was selected for optimum ride potential for the young picnickers - the first Friday of August.

'People asked us, 'Why not Saturday?' Have you ever been there on a weekend• The kids can ride more because there's less wait in line on a weekday,' he says.

There will be fun at the pavilions for residents as well, Geiger said. For the third year, a karate demonstration is planned and there will be a drawing for cash and prizes beginning at 5 p.m. Two pavilions have been reserved for the Aug. 3 picnic.

'We're going to have D-1 and D-2. Everybody brings their own lunch and we'll have free drinks,' he said.

'We have some cash prizes, gifts, whatever some people choose to donate. We even have some savings bonds,' said Geiger. Prizes will be awarded to both children and adults.

Despite the emphasis on youngsters, the Penn Township Community Picnic isn't excluding grownups.

'We'll have a disc jockey for dancing at the pavilion and bingo. We do what the majority of people want and that's what they want,' he says.

As an added convenience for residents, free bus service will be offered. Seniors and the disabled will be driven directly to the pavilion.

Ride tickets will go on sale July 30 and are as follows: $11 for ages 3 to 54 and $9 for over 55.

Geiger said the price is quite a deal considering the amount of fun and entertainment that's included in the cost. A prize drawing ticket will be included with the ride ticket purchase.

The Penn Township Community Picnic Committee is a tradition that will remain Geiger's crusade. 'As long as the good Lord let's me do it, I will. It gets bigger every year.'

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