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Orchard City hosts annual town picnic

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Three-year-old Eva Mautz seemed less interested in winning the six-and-under watermelon eating contest than just enjoying a sweet moment under a warm August sun. She is the daughter of Keith and Holly Mautz.
Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Young guys compete in the watermelon eating contest, the grand finalé at Orchard City’s annual picnic.
Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Orchard City’s best pie bakers this year in the annual pie baking contest are, at left, Karen Hernandez and Donna Keadle. They received their prize awards from Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore.
Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Pie contest judges at the annual Orchard City town picnic had their work cut out for them and served up on paper plates. They are Dave Balmforth, Bruce Hovde and Timothy Cole.

The Town of Orchard City hosted its 13th annual picnic last Saturday, a community tradition begun in 2004 by then town mayor Tom Huerkamp.

At that first town picnic held in the town shops, elected officials and staff contributed fresh produce from their own home gardens and kids got rides on the fire truck.

Since then, Orchard City Park has been vastly improved and become the site of the annual event.

Dozens of the town's residents arrived to take advantage of a community cookout meal prepared and served by elected officials and staff members. The lunch is a complimentary offering from the town government.

The Orchard City Park Pavilion provided shade and a gracious outdoor dining feeling for the occasion which brings together neighbors and families for time of socializing.

Several special events took place during the day. They were the following:

• The three top prizes in the annual pie baking contest were taken by residents Donna Keadle and Karen Hernandez.

Keadle took first prize with her fresh peach pie. She also won the third place prize with her fresh peach and blackberry pie, both made that morning from fruit grown at her home. The second place award was won by Hernandez with an entry of fresh peach and blueberry pie. Judges for the event were Dave Balmforth, Timothy Cole and Bruce Hovde.

• There was presentation of a check for $19,300 to the town. County Commissioner Bruce Hovde arranged for providing the funds from state lottery proceeds that will be used to purchase new, low maintenance player benches and spectator bleachers, which will be used for the park's youth sports activities.

• The younger generation was not ignored during the event. The water slide feature was set up for kids to play on under the warm August sun, and the traditional grand finalé watermelon eating contest provided sweet fun and family memories as moms snapped photos of the action on their smart phone cameras.

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