Contributed by Joan Newman
THE annual and much-loved ‘Back To’ Charlie Brown’s Picnic Day was enjoyed on Easter Saturday by what is estimated to be the largest attendance yet in the event’s history.
Presented and organised by Waratah residents, the sun was barely above the horizon when Butch arrived with the marquee, Lindsay with his tent and other volunteers emerged from all over the village to help set up for the day’s events.
Bazza drove in with the hay bales and linemarking material, the band took up its position, the strawberries and cream were ready to go, the Fish Creek Scouts and primary school ladies were on hand with sausage sizzle, cakes and coffee.
Whilst the sand castle competition and Easter egg hunt were underway, ‘Soul Purpose’ struck up the welcoming jazz music. Starter Drew held his whistle, Lindsay took up his microphone, the sun emerged and the eighth ‘Back To’ Charlie Brown’s Picnic Day was underway in perfect conditions. Councillor Moyha Davies dropped in to wish everyone well.
First up was the Doggy Derby, much to the delight and amusement of the spectators. So keen were the entrants that half of the 40 participants and their jockeys were exhausted from practicing the race up and down the course prior to the start.
The serious side of the games started with the three-legged race and the tiny Under 5s set up a cracking pace which continued for the whole day.
Whilst the highlight of the day has always been the culmination of the event with the tug-of-war between teams from the Waratites and the Parkers, it was somewhat overshadowed this year by the fierce rivalry between the participants in the adult relay races. The spectators roared encouragement as the ladies thundered down the track. Any careless spectator at either end of the course would have been annihilated had they not jumped aside. Not a baton was dropped and both relays were a smashing success.
The weather was glorious, there were more than 50 sand castles to judge and some 170 spectators watched the amazing creations emerge.
The open winners of the sand castle competition were from Kalista – Marlin and Simon Yates with their interpretation of a spider. The judges of the competition were amazed at the quality and inventiveness of all the children – with or without mums and dads assisting. The Waratites finished the overall winners on the day.
Charlie Brown would have been well pleased to see how his dream of Waratah being a fun place for families, picnics and strawberries has evolved.