BBQ is back for OWN/ West picnic July 27
It's going to be a barbecue again.
With a new plan to attract the families that make up its membership base, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) will be grilling up hot dogs for its annual picnic in Bancroft Park Sunday, July 27.
The free event will be from 1 to 4 p.m.
The OWN newsletter, published this week, contains a “head of the line” coupon ensuring “two hotdogs per family member.”
In addition, police and fire units are expected to have a presence, and OWN volunteers have pledged to monitor the food line to avert past incidents of vagrants stuffing food in their pockets or otherwise causing uneasiness for families.
The event has a new name this year - the “Westside Neighbors Picnic.” As always, it will be a joint effort with the West Intergenerational Center, which will provide musical entertainment and children's games. In recent years, it had been informally known as the “block-nic” - an amalgam of West calling it a “neighborhood block party” and OWN calling it the “OWN Picnic.”
Last year, because of the vagrancy issues, the volunteer OWN board ended its long-time tradition of featuring a barbecue at the picnic and invited people to come for information and to meet elected officials. But the result was about a two-thirds drop-off in attendance from past highs of about 300 people.
The OWN board worked up this year's plan at meetings in recent months. The consensus was that if homeless people want to eat, they should not be denied, but all who come need to behave themselves. Anyone is welcome to bring a side dish.
OWN is the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside. West is the community center, located next to West Middle School at 25 N. 20th St. For more information about the picnic, call OWN at 471-4023 or West at 385-7920.
Westside Pioneer article