Village’s Celebration Picnic attracts 3,000 attendees

Julia Kokorelis (left) and Amanda Diaz eat some of the 4,000 Krispy Kremes donuts consumed at the picnic. (Photo by Bill Kress.)

The Village of Palmetto Bay’s 10th Annual Celebration Picnic was favored by great weather and attended by a crowd of some 3,000 people who turned out for the special event.

It is the largest community get-together each year, with food, music, games for the children, and relaxed camaraderie for friends and neighbors.

Village Mayor Shelley Stanczyk said she thought it was an outstanding event. “It was a great picnic and it was our 10th anniversary, so it was kind of special that way,” Mayor Stanczyk said. “So many residents turned out and they so appreciated and enjoyed it. That’s their hometown picnic.”

Resident Judy Jones, who has attended the annual events since they started a decade ago, was pleased with this year’s gathering.

“It was another wonderful Palmetto Bay picnic,” Jones said. “It was great socializing with friends and the food was very good also. It was very well organized. What a crowd. Loved it.”

As before, one of the features of the picnic was a guided IBus tour of historic places around the village. It was as popular as usual.

“It was booked up within 20 minutes to a half hour of the start of the picnic,” Mayor Stanczyk said. “People pass by a lot of the places every day and they just don’t know the story behind them. We had somebody on the bus that knows the history, and it gives you a different feeling about the places.”

Stanczyk appreciated the help of everyone who participated, from staff and volunteers to others within the village.

“We got a lot of support from businesses and community groups that really made the picnic a great success,” Stanczyk said. “Home Depot came out and had their ‘Junior Builders’ area where the kids make things. You run into the kids after they’ve done the program and they’re so excited to show you what they’ve made. They have a couple of different kits that they do so the kids have choices.”

She said that her favorite part of the picnic is the opportunity to talk to so many residents in one place in a laid-back atmosphere.

“You run into people that you do not get to see as often as you like, and people are very willing to come up and tell you what they think about what’s going on,” Stanczyk said. “I had a number of people who came up to me and were talking about the beach volleyball at Palmetto Bay Park, since that’s coming up on the agenda, and they’re really excited about it.

“I heard a lot of positive things about the parks and the new tennis program. So many people tell me that the picnic is the best thing they’ve had all year because it’s so family oriented and has something for everybody.”

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