68.2 F

Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Picnic in the Park resumes with beginning of spring

Not only is the beautiful weather an indicator of the changing seasons, it also means that Picnic in the Park is resuming. Starting March 21, Central Park will be alive with the sound of music, laughter and munching mouths.

Now in its 20th season, Picnic in the Park begins its 31 week season every Wednesday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Central Park.

“We’re starting on the first day of spring,” Randii Macnear, executive director of the Davis Farmers Market, said, “because we have to have enough daylight hours for Picnic in the Park to be able to run long enough for the band to play, people to come out, eat, shop and have fun.”

About 12 different restaurants set up booths at the south end of the market where people can buy dinner and sit at one of 35 tables located next to the band. There is a variety of activities for children such as pony rides, a carousel, face painting, balloon animals and even a rock climbing wall.

When the picnic begins, the park is filled with people sitting on blankets or on the grass while listening to music and eating food bought from local farmers and vendors.

Kelsey Bedford, booth manager of the market and a recent UC Davis graduate, said that it’ll be great to have a different crowd once the picnic begins.

“It’s harder for people to come out in the morning,” Bedford said. “But once the picnic begins, more students will come in the afternoon; it’ll be much bigger, busier and very family-oriented.”

Chris Borton of West Sacramento sells natural apple juice at the Davis Farmers Market. The apple juice hails from Sebastopol, Calif. where a local farmer sells to Borton. As he busily helps customers, he commented on how it will be fun and even more exciting once the picnic begins.

“It’s one of the best things in Davis,” Borton said. “We have been selling for 30 years now and our pints are the most popular among the community.”

According to MacNear, One important aspect of this event, however, resides in supporting local farmers.

“It is our civic responsibility to shop from the farmers because without the farmers, we wouldn’t have the picnic.”

The Davis Farmers Market was voted in 2009 and 2010 as America’s favorite farmers market in a contest held by the American Family Farmland Trust.

Ten percent of the votes were for Davis, which, according to MacNear, “is just amazing. Over 3,000 people voted for Davis and what was really interesting was that people who have been to Davis or students who are no longer going to school here voted from far away.”

MEE YANG can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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