B y Dan King
Last Friday the horse barn at the Washington County Fairground was decked out in tye-dye, as seniors from all over the county made their way to Greenwich for the annual Washington County Senior Picnic.
There were 270 people in attendance for this year’s picnic and they had the opportunity to enjoy games, food, live music and an overall social experience. The theme for this year’s picnic was a hippie fun day and the attendees were encouraged to dress for the occasion, some came donning tye-dye, others in bandannas.
The Washington County Office for the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center is responsible for putting on this annual event and it is toward the top of that department’s priority list every year.
This event has been going on since the mid-1990s, said members of the executive board and this is the second year in a row that it took place at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The picnic had previously traveled from location to location, including Huletts Landing, Lake Lauderdale and the American Legion Campsite in Cambridge.
“This event is huge,” Gina Cantanucci-Mitchell the department’s executive director said, “When I interviewed for my position there were questions about how I would run this event in particular.”
After starting the day off with some donuts and coffee, the seniors got ready for the games and activities, which are always pertinent to the theme. The different groups of seniors enter friendly competition against one another and are awarded points for a variety of different things.
“They come here with five-member teams and they get points for various activities,” Cantanucci-Mitchell said, “They are very competitive, it’s very cut throat.”
This year’s hippie-themed games were Simon Says, hippie costume contest, clothes pin drop, 60s slang terms, 60s flashback price is right, marbles and a hula-hoop toss.
At 11:15 a.m. the games got started outside and those who didn’t participate had the opportunity to learn some line dancing skills from Ginny Allen inside the barn.
Every group had a chance to participate in each of the different games throughout the gorgeous, sunny day.
At noon, when the games were all complete, the judges tallied up the points for each team and the participants headed back inside for lunch and dessert. Lunch included a burger, baked beans and pasta salad; with strawberry shortcake for dessert.
As dessert finished up, Elvis Impersonator TJ Green cranked out a few tunes in full Elvis attire. Some of the seniors got up and danced along to the jams, while others sat back and relaxed.
The closing remarks from Cantanucci-Mitchell started with acknowledgement of donors, volunteers, sponsors and all who made the event run as smoothly as it did.
After the acknowledgements, the top three winning teams were announced and finishing in first place was none other than Granville’s own ‘Captain Matt and the Recycled Hippie Chicks.’ The team name came from Town Supervisor Matt Hicks and the group of entirely female participants.
Raffle drawings for a variety of items, such as, a power fan, DVD player, paper shredder, phone vacuum and food processor took place, as well as a 50/50 raffle.
It was yet another successful picnic, as attendance increased and the activities put smiles on the face of many.
“It has evolved over the years,” Cantanucci-Mitchell concluded, “We try to make it a fun day full of games and activities for everyone.”
B y Dan King