The Coombs Community Picnic is celebrating its 25th anniversary next week. The annual event will take place on Friday, June 12 at the French Creek Community School from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be full-on fun for two hours,” said Jennifer Bate, recreation co-ordinator of the Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association (ACRA), who co-hosts the event.
This year, the picnic will maintain its old-fashioned roots and include family-friendly entertainment like a bouncy castle, pony rides provided by Tiger Lily Farm, face painting, tug-o-war and ball games. Angus Coulter will also once again bring to the event his Children’s Garden Railway, a model train that Bate said is a “real treat for kids.”
Finally, the locally based Jangano Marimba Band will provide some musical entertainment.
“There’s so much going on,” said Bate. “It’s really, really fun.”
On the food front, there will be hot dogs and ice cream provided free of charge.
Families are also invited to pack picnic baskets if they wish.
As per tradition, there will also be a celebratory cake, which is usually cut by a special community member, said Sharon Cox-Gustavson, a member of the Coombs Museum Society.
According to a press release from ACRA, organizers expect around 400 people to take part in the event this year
“A lot of people from the whole Arrowsmith area come,” said Bate, who added the participants from multiple generations take part in the tradition year after year.
“You’ll see babies to seniors,” she said.
The annual picnic is sponsored by a number of long-time supporters, including the Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association, the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association, the Parksville-Qualicum 4H Club, the Coombs-Hilliers’ Fire Department, Arrowsmith Search and Rescue and Wallpepper Signs, said Cox-Gustavson. Local businesses Creekmore’s Coffee, the Coombs Old Country Market and the Coombs General Store are also donating to the event.
This year, Kim Longmuir of ACRA said the RDN is also supporting the picnic with a community grant.
“It’s a total community event,” said Bate.