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Residents savor the flavor at GH community picnic

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:05 PM

More than 800 people had been served by about 6:30 p.m., according to assistant city manager Sam Janson as he handed out water bottles from the back of a pickup truck.

Perfect weather greeted residents who attended the annual event late Sunday afternoon at East Grand River Park.

“It’s a good community bonding experience,” said City Manager Pat McGinnis. “It seems to make everybody very happy.”

McGinnis said the free food distributed by area restaurants was all donated.

“Even the candy and the prizes for the kids were donated,” he said. “There’s no tax money here.”

Residents waited in long lines to get food from Anthony’s Kicked Up Catering, Arturo’s, A&L Farms and The Grand.

More than 600 pieces of cake had been devoured by 5:20 p.m., said Mary Ickes as she plated another serving.

Mayor Geri McCaleb said she got to meet a lot of children as they scurried to get an official signature as part of a scavenger hunt.

“The people I’ve talked to are having a great time,” McCaleb said before stopping to chat with some area residents.

Ashley Fojtik and Nicole Vandenberg sat on the grass off to the side near the band.

“It’s good to see community events like this,” Fojtik said.

“I’ve seen live five of my neighbors here today,” Vandenberg said.

Children gathered in throngs, and then lined up for a chance to swing at one of the piñatas hung in the trees.

Once the piñata was broken, volunteers threw goodies into piles in the area for the children.

The band, Barefoot Sunday, entertained while children played and families downed their food.

A fire truck and trolley rides were also part of the entertainment.

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