Rain Didn’t Stop the Lourdes Annual Picnic
The congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church plans their picnic months in advance. It is the biggest fundraiser/social of the year. This year it was planned for Saturday June 18. Earlier in the week weather forecasters had predicted hot humid weather but no mention of rain. Organizers where very very happy. The new KIDSZONE area, The Cornhole Tournament, Tractor/train rides for the kids and cooking was all going to go smoothly and without threat of moving things indoors.
WRONG!!!! By Friday night there was a 40% chance of rain Saturday. The 40% began before dawn Saturday and continued all morning right thru the noon hour. “We always serve in the air conditioned Parrish Hall so that was not a problem”, said spokesman Jody Head a lifelong member of the Parrish. “We simply moved the cake wheel and raffle items inside and took the corn hole tournament to the Gym. The other activites stayed outside rain or shine. As for the food, nobody notices a little liquid from the Lord in their burgoo and the meat pits are covered”.
Sounded like they had things handled. I arrived about 1:45 for our 2:30 – 5:30 broadcast from the picnic. It was still raining but the sky was looking better and Emily Carter back at the station told me the radar was clear all the way back to Illinois. As the rains ended the picnic committee worked doubletime to get things ready. Tents went up, games were organized and food was placed into serving containers. Everything was ready and open at the designated 3pm time.
The food was great. I love burgoo and Lourdes has some of the best. Their chicken (Western Kentucky Style) and Mutton has won yearly awards from the Internaitonal BBQ Fest and it shows. The Mens Club at Lourdes has dozens of members who each have a different chore. The make it look easy. Longtime Men’s Club member Daviess Co. Judge Executive Al Mattingly handled the meat cutting, others worked the pits, stirred the burgoo pots, sorted and packaged food. My buddy Ben Vessels got up early and helped cook breakfast for those BBQ workers who put in many hours. “After that I went home, took a nap and I am back”, he said surveying the crowd one hour after opening.
Hundreds of folks arrived hungry and went home full. Some played the games and tried to win a cake or 2 liter soft drink. Others participated in the Corn Hole Tournament and more than a few took the “drive thru” option and purchased food to take home and never got out of their car.
There is something wonderful about a church picnic. When I was a kid growing up on Long Island we had chruch clambakes and lobster broils. It was fun but not nearly as much work, play and excitement as BBQ. I love the tradition and the great thing about this area is that you can find a church picnic almost every weekend during the summer.
So next weekend pack up the babies, grab the old ladies and head to a good old fashioned church BBQ for some real family fun. You might want to purchase a bit extra for your favorite morning radio guy. It Will Keep till Monday.
Another tip: If you attend Mass immediately after the church picnic, in this case 7pm, for some reason Father’s homily is usually very short.