OWN, West host annual Bancroft Park picnic July 27

       Westsiders can eat barbecued meat, find out about government services, talk to elected officials and enjoy games and entertainment Sunday, July 27 at the annual Westside Neighbors Picnic in Bancroft Park.
       Going from 1 to 4 p.m., the free get-together is co-sponsored by the volunteer Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) and the West Intergenerational Center.
       OWN Board Member Amy Filipiak, who helped lead the planning from the OWN side, said she's looking forward to “free food and good community” at the picnic. “Those are two of the best things.”
       Information will be provided by City Code Enforcement and Fire Station 5, according to plans. Also, City Police is slated to bring “The Convincer” ride, where people can discover the force of an 8-mph collision.
       Live music is scheduled to fill the air for the first hour of the picnic. West Center Director E.D. Rucker said the Bill Emery jazz quartet will play in the bandshell from 1 to 2 p.m. After that, groups taking hip-hop and line dance classes at West will perform to prerecorded music.
       For the kids, there will be a jumper, and West staff will organize various traditional children's games, such as egg relays and sack races, Rucker said.
       On the barbecue will be hotdogs and brats, and there will also be a couple of side dishes and drinks, Filipiak said. People are asked to observe a “two-dog” limit and to bring side dishes if they like.
       Elected officials who have said they'll probably attend are State Rep. Michael Merrifield, County Commissioner Sallie Clark and City Council members Jerry Heimlicher, Larry Small and Randy Purvis.

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