Sometimes, in order to keep folks' attention, you have to shake things up ... do things differently.
"This is so important," said Jill Robinson, speaking about the annual Picnic in the Park, " that we didn't want it to get into a rut and that's easy to do with an event that's held year in and year out."
Slated for Friday, June 27, at Lakeview Park, the picnic is the major fund raiser for the Franklin County Council on Family Abuse. Good participation and support from the community are vital for the Council's ongoing programs. It will be held at the Paul Gray Horse Show Arena in the park.
So, in addition to the Monarchs performing for entertainment and dancing, there'll be the American Dream Talent Competition featuring five local singers. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and will be selected by a panel of professional musicians in conjunction with audience ballots. (Biographies and pictures of the five hopefuls are elsewhere on this page.)
Like the popular television talent search contest "American Idol," each performer will sing for the judges and the audience. The judges' decision will carry 60 percent of the weight with the audience providing the other 40 percent.
"Only those who are seated at a table will be eligible to vote," Robinson said. "There'll be ballots on the tables. Those who come in on general admission won't be able to vote."
Lakeview Park gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Friday and those coming should use the Stedmantown Lane entrance. Children's activities provided by the staff of the YMCA will be held from 6 to 7:30 followed by the always-popular table competition judging at 6:30 p.m. around the picnic's "American Dream" theme.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.