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Annual community picnic on horizon
Everyone invited to park Sept. 16
Picnic pic 1
Dawsonville residents gathered at last year’s community picnic for free food, activities and family-friendly fun. This year’s event on Sept. 16 at Amicalola Falls State Park will be the 12th annual community picnic and is one of the largest community events of the year. - photo by File photo

The time has come for the Dawson County annual community picnic, one of the largest community events for the last 12 years.


Once again, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with United Community Bank, The Pool Room, Amicalola State Park and Kroger to put on the event. The 12th annual community picnic will be held on Sept. 16, from 4 - 7 p.m. at Amicalola State Park.


In past years, picnic volunteers have fed anywhere from 600 to 700 people. No less is expected at this year’s gathering.


In addition to supplying ample amounts of burgers, hot-dogs, side dishes and desserts, the community picnic will also feature hay rides, hikes, the Birds of Prey exhibit and music from the Dawson County High School Choir and a special Bluegrass guest.


As in years prior, a portion of the picnic will be dedicated to honoring those involved in the Fire, EMS and police departments, who defend the rights of others and keep the community safe. Honoring these kinds of services has always been a part of the community picnics, but recognizing brave and selfless members of the community became an even higher priority after the terrorist attacks of 2001.


“Several years ago when the picnic fell on Sept. 11, 2001, many of us had not allowed the tragedy that gripped our nation to sink in, but we moved forward with the event. Those who attended said that it gave them a sense of belonging to a very safe community,” said Jay Walker, the incoming chair of the Chamber of Commerce.


Ever since, the community picnics make an extra effort to recognize service-oriented members of the community.


This year a surprise group of volunteers will be honored with a special presentation from Walker.


“This is a very special community with deep values and respect for one another. The picnic always reminds us of the strong bonds within our community,” said Walker.


The picnic is free of cost — free food, free entertainment and free activities, and is open to the public. The various sponsors front the costs for this nonprofit picnic every year to give something back to the community.


“It’s our way of saying thanks to the community for their support,” said Pam Hamalainen, the membership director for the Chamber of Commerce. 

 “It’s a fun day for everybody. It’s a time to get away and forget all your worries and just enjoy being a part of this wonderful community,” she added.