Despite cool temperatures and gray skies, Palmetto Bay once again threw itself a grand old picnic for nearly 5000 people on March 2nd. The Coral Reef Park annual event celebrates the Village’s 2002 incorporation.
Kicked off by Village Manager Ron Williams, Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Councilman Patrick Fiore and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, the fun-filled day included lots of food, activities and some specialty areas.
The Palmetto Bay Policing Unit, led by D.A.R.E. Officer Peter Judge, handed out and fitted residents with free bike helmets. "It's so great to have the Village provide donated safety equipment to our kids," said Sandra van Hooijdonk who had just had a helmet fitted for her 2-year old daughter Alina.
Strolling around the park, there was the obligatory bounce house and kids activity area, cotton candy and popcorn stands, public safety demonstration and there were singing, dancing and live music performances by area children’s groups under the main gazebo.
Special Events Supervisor Mary Fernandez provided some impressive food statistics, “We have 3000 hot dogs, 3000 donuts, 2500 pizza slices, 2000 bags of chips, over 2000 ears of corn and more than 5000 drinks… and they’ll all be gone in a few hours.” I can attest that the food was quite tasty, gone quickly and as Councilman Fiore put it, “Why not? It’s all free for our residents!”
Palmetto Bay resident and ten-year veteran to the picnic Pat Gladieux explains, “My husband cooks the corn and I hand it out. We enjoy the day very much and would never miss it.” She went on to explain the organic Homestead–grown corn had been picked just a day prior.
Jessica Rio took her one-year old daughter Isabella around for her first Palmetto Bay picnic. “She likes the bounce houses, the music, the cheerleaders and all the other kids.” Jessica agreed the whole picnic is unique and very special.
Living in South Florida certainly has its perks, but it is extraordinary to be able to attend an event like this. It’s like living in the “Happy Days” era right here in 2013.