FRENCHVILLE – In 1870, a celebration was held in Frenchville, Pa., to commemorate the completion of the new stone church, St. Mary of the Assumption.
At the beginning, the picnic was just a small social gathering for the church, and was held in the middle of the week for one day.
But as the years and decades passed by and as families grew so did the picnic. People come from all over the United States and even as far as France and Canada to attend the yearly event.
The picnic, itself, is the church’s largest fundraiser, and has since grown to a two-day event with a Saturday night-fireworks display and a Sunday afternoon chicken or ham barbecue dinner with many people lining up early for the meal.
Along with the dinner, there is a “French Raffle,” a bingo stand, various food stands as well as a flea market. Many families and generations volunteer to help with the bingo stand as well as the “French Raffle.”
This year’s picnic will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18. There will be a mass at the church at 4 p.m. on July 17 and the picnic grove opens at 5 p.m.
At 10:01 p.m., there will be a huge fireworks-display by R&R Fireworks Inc., celebrating 150 years of the picnic.
The barbecue chicken or oven-roasted chicken or ham dinner served with mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, green beans, baked beans, pickled eggs and beets, coleslaw, a roll with butter and a dessert will be served starting at 12 p.m. July 18.
Dinners are $15, and there is plenty of room to enjoy it in the picnic grove.
The Moore Brothers will be playing on July 18, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., followed by Heather Olsen at 5 p.m. Drawing for prizes will be at 8 p.m. that evening.
Parking, admission and the shows are free and the flea market booth will be open during the 100 Mile Yard Sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, you can visit the Frenchville Picnic Facebook page or e-mail email@example.com.