New setting for Westside Neighbors Picnic

       With the Westside Community Center at 17th and Bijou streets serving as the venue for the first time, the annual Westside Neighbors Picnic will be Saturday, July 23 from noon to 2 p.m.
       All Westsiders are invited to the free event, which will offer barbecued hotdogs and brats, soft drinks and side dishes, and accompaniment by a live band (John Wise and other musicians) playing outside.
       Volunteered side dishes are also welcome.
       Outdoor exercise possibilities include a basketball court, a horsehoe pit and a children's playground.
       People may want to bring lawn or swing chairs because, unlike Bancroft, the center lacks grassy areas where blankets can be spread out.
       Inside, the center has a gymnasium, with a chance to join in a “paint by numbers” mural that's being created on one of the walls. Also, the Community Center, which had been the Buena Vista school from 1911 to 2009, will be open for self-guided tours.
       For the past decade, the picnic has been at Bancroft Park, attracting 200 or more most years. It was moved to the center this year because of the inside/outside possibilities, the center's community outreach goals and the desire to avoid paying city park rental fees, according to interviews with the heads of the hosting groups, Welling Clark of OWN and Dick Siever of the Westside Center.
       People don't need to make reservations for the picnic. However, as it has for the past two years, OWN will be offering an “early bird coupon” in the quarterly newsletter (the Westside Story) it mails to households on the older Westside. Families bringing in coupons from their newsletters will get precedence in the food line, Clark said. Coupon copies will not be accepted.
       Those who come to the Westside Center early July 23 can support the Wheelchair Wash & Tune-Up event, sponsored by the local chapter of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, from 9 a.m. to noon, Siever said.
       For more information, call the center at 385-7920 x100.

Westside Pioneer article