By Mike Anderson
After COVID put the brakes on family fun in Pefferlaw, the annual Pefferlaw Association of Ratepayers (P.A.R.) Family picnic, held on the August 1 Civic Holiday, brought it back, attracting nearly 3,000 people.
After a two-year hiatus, the picnic had lots of free activities for parents and their kids, including face painting, bouncy castles, exotic animals, and, of course, the ever-popular watermelon eating contest.
“It was a good turnout. And a great atmosphere,” said Jim Keenan, P.A.R. President.
“I think people have been waiting to be able to get together at a good country picnic.”
“It’s the biggest event in Pefferlaw, and it’s all free. Local merchants have donated everything,” said Gary Harpley, P.A.R. Treasurer.
“We want to support local families. They are hard-pressed right now. There are a lot of families that can’t afford to go to the Sutton Fair or the C.N.E.,” Keenan added.
Nicole Grant and her four-year-old daughter Tessa were delighted to be at the picnic, with the face painting, bouncy castle and free ice cream getting the biggest thumbs up.
“It’s amazing. We missed out on two years of this, and it’s great to see the turnout, all the kids and the parents smiling. It’s a wonderful time,” she said.
Michelle Green and her daughters Macy, 6, and Taylor, 2, were fascinated by Quincy, the 40-year-old Egyptian Tortoise that kept plodding along, undeterred by the throngs of kids.
“It’s great to get back to normal. And they’re having a blast,” she said.
“We just moved to Pefferlaw three years ago, and we didn’t even know this existed.”
Parents and their kids weren’t the only ones happy to be at the picnic.
“It feels great to be out again because me and twenty parrots locked up, literally going mad, screaming at each other and pooping wasn’t a good thing,” said Seth Falk, the owner of Hands on Exotics, who brought Quincy and 12 other animals, including several parrots.
“So it’s nice to have them out, pooping on other people and screaming at them.”
Falk also brought a dinosaur costume, which caused a miniature stampede as dozens of kids tried to touch it, adding to the day’s fun and contributing to another memorable summer picnic.
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