Birdseye goes big for multiday picnic


BIRDSEYE — Organizers of this weekend’s 29th annual Birdseye Town Picnic — it takes place Friday and Saturday — are going big.

A half-court, 3-on-3 basketball tourney that traditionally serves as a picnic backdrop is growing into a 4-on-4, full-court, double-elimination affair with up to seven players max per team (counting substitutes).

Park board member Seth Sickbert decided to make the switch this year after taking over hoops planning from Councilman Roy Partenheimer. At the start of this week, Sickbert said the lineup of teams signed up for the open class already looked to have the makings for a good tournament.

The full-court experiment will feature a lot of running.

“Hopefully it will be something to watch,” Sickbert says.

The trend toward bigger also applies to the park’s shelter house — an addition was completed in June — and offerings for kids, where new items include a magic show, a Wacky Wheels contest where materials are provided for decorating bikes and wagons and a burgeoning lineup of inflatable fun that includes an outdoor fun-climbing wall, a slide, a bouncer and splash pool and a bouncy house.

New food offerings include ice cream floats and tornado haystacks, which takes fried potato slices and adds taco meat or pulled pork.

Birdseye Clerk-Treasurer Brittany Schepers says the folks preparing fried chicken, barbecue chicken and ribs Saturday will be up and at it at 3 a.m.

The main food line starts at 11 a.m.

“People can also stop by the fire station to pick up meals, especially the elderly if they don’t plan on sticking around to shake a leg or if the weather is rainy or hot,” Schepers said.

Fortunately, the forecast calls for pleasant weather this weekend.

Proceeds from the annual picnic are evenly divided between the Birdseye Park Board and the fire department.

“It takes a community to keep our little town running and if it wasn’t for our annual picnic, our children would feel the consequences,” Schepers said. “We have a great park for the kids to play at and hopefully, by the end of August, we will be looking forward to a new and much needed fire station.”

Birdseye applied in June for a $500,000 construction grant to build a new, modern fire station away from railroad tracks next to the current station at 9 W. First St.

This summer’s picnic gets started at 4 p.m. Friday, when food like those tornado haystacks, jumbo tacos and pulled pork sandwiches becomes available. Cornhole bags start flying soon after, and Boogie Tunes will crank up the entertainment at 7 p.m.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, Birdseye’s third annual Color Run/Walk starts in front of the First Pentecostal Church. Organizers say runners start out with a white shirt and end up with a multicolored body.

By the time those colorful runners return, classic cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on show along Third Street.

Organizers of this weekend’s event at the 41 E. State Road 64 park are promising family fun for everyone, with offerings that include a baby contest, co-ed volleyball, raffles and a chalk walk to let kids explore their creative side. A Saturday night dance with One Night Stand on the main stage begins at 8 p.m.

Picnic Schedule


4 p.m. Burgers, walking tacos, pulled pork, hot dogs, pizza burgers, tornado haystack potatoes and drinks available

5 p.m. Kid games and stands open

6 to 10 p.m. Money wheel

6:30 p.m. Cornhole tourney begins

7 to 10 p.m. Boogie Tunes


8 a.m. Birdseye’s third annual Color Run/Walk starts in front of First Pentecostal Church; car show registration

9 a.m. Volleyball tourney; 4-on-4 basketball tourney; hamburger stand opens, Wacky Wheels where materials are supplied to decorate bikes, strollers, wagons, etc

10 a.m. Kids games; 3-on-3 basketball tournament; bake sale in main food building; slushie stand

10 a.m. Car show on Third Street; baby picture contest

11 a.m. Wacky Wheels judging; magic show; fried chicken, barbecue chicken and rib dinners go on sale

1 p.m. Kids movie at Trackside building

1 to 3 p.m. Gospel singing

1 p.m. Horseshoe tourney

3 to 8 p.m. Money wheel

8 to 11 p.m. One Night Stand

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