Each year, the Village of Palmetto Bay throws itself one heck of a party in the form of a Celebration Picnic. This year marked the 15th such party and nearly 3000 people showed up to mark the occasion.
Linda Robinson, the original Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay, recalled, “We started this picnic back in 2002 so that we could celebrate our incorporation. And all the things we started, like the corn and the food and the rides for the kids, are still here.”
Indeed, on March 4th, Coral Reef Park was transformed into a massive free picnic for all to enjoy.
3000 hot dogs, 3000 ears of corn, lots of pizza, endless amounts of chips, water, sodas, cotton candy and more were gobbled up.
And, as usual, Village staff, volunteers going back to the original picnic and more proudly made it all happen.
“I’d like to thank my Parks and Recreation staff who put this all together and worked so hard,” explained Director of Parks Fanny Carmona. “We are also indebted to the Department of Public Works who worked tirelessly to make this happen.” Harry Freedman remarked, “It’s amazing how much our Parks department does with so little budget.”
Village Manager Edward Silva explained, “The fifteen years that we have had have been incredible! It’s a major change from where we were as unincorporated Dade County to what we are now.”
First and now current Mayor Eugene Flinn added, “I am so proud to be a part of Palmetto Bay and this is our annual coming together and reaffirmation of our history and bright future.”
For four hours, local school cheerleaders, orchestras and choral groups all entertained the crowds.
“America was made great because of our family values and our local schools and community extend that. It’s the difference between success and non-success and I am so pleased at our schools’ involvement, the community it creates and today Palmetto Bay feels very American to me,” expressed School Commissioner Dr. Larry Feldman.
The annual Mayor’s Cup baseball game between Coral Reef and Miami Palmetto High Schools was wonderful backdrop to the American spirit permeating the atmosphere of the day. “This is what living in Palmetto Bay is all about,” remarked long-time resident Lisa Aaronson.
14-year old Youth Involvement Board member Jake DeWitt who worked the entire day added, “Palmetto Bay is the Village I grew up in. It’s amazing! I met many friends here and I can’t imagine a better place to live.”
Accolades poured in throughout the day with proclamations from Cutler Bay, kind words from Mayor Corradino from Pinecrest and awards, ribbons and speeches from former Palmetto Bay officials community activists. Palmetto Bay Partnership Chairman Peter England said, “I lived here before Palmetto Bay was Palmetto Bay and since they incorporated and since they do great events like this that engage the community, it just keeps getting better!”
As local country and rock band Cutler Stew played to the crowd, resident Natalie Harper summed up the day, “I love this and our park. We come here walking all the time. It’s just a wonderful environment. Happy 15th birthday to the Village. I come to these picnics every year and I can’t wait until next year!”