Gloucester’s inaugural picnic in the park is back on track after not taking place last year due to COVID. Ironically, the Gloucester Business Chamber had decided to run with the picnic idea and forego the annual Chill Out winter festival due to COVID in 2021.
According to event organizer Melissa Leitch, the chamber was trying to find an event that could be held on a smaller scale COVID-safe, as opposed to a large festival. The original plan was to hold the picnic in July, when Chill Out traditionally took place, however, COVID restrictions forced the chamber to postpone the event until September. But that didn’t fly either, so the chamber chose a new date of Saturday, March 19.
“Third time a charm,” smiled Melissa. “The goal is to try and do something. COVID has ruined things for the last two years. It’s just going to be a nice, enjoyable day.”
Picnic in the Park will feature some of the Chill Out festival favourites, such as a car, motorcycle and tractor show and a children’s entertainment area. All these spaces will be free to access, however, the “intimate” picnic area which will be installed behind the stage in Billabong Park will be subject to a charge.
“You’ll need to get a ticket to come to the area and enjoy the music,” Melissa explained. “You can either bring your own picnic or pre-order a picnic basket which includes the entrance fee.”
Tickets and picnic baskets can be purchased via Try to book. Admission tickets are $10 per adult or $5 per child (with three and under free with a paying adult). Options for a picnic hamper complete with drinks, dessert, a picnic mat and a handmade wooden crate cost $120 for a family of four (additional children can be added for $15 per person). child) or $95 for a couple’s picnic (with a bottle of wine).
“The crates were made by students from Gloucester High School and we sourced as much food as possible from local businesses or producers,” Melissa explained.
The whole event takes place at Gloucester Billabong Park from 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., while the picnic portion, with live music from Heath Lancaster and Gloucester duo Charles Tonks and Adelaide McIntosh, runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can expect to see the car, motorcycle and tractor show from 9am to noon. The children’s entertainment area, which will include bouncy castles, a large slide, mini putt putt, Zorb balls, laughing clowns, a petting zoo and a climbing wall, will stretch from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. And there will also be a local art exhibition from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The evening is set to end with a family movie presented by the Gloucester Rotary Club for a donation of gold coins.