With the Memorial Day weekend comes the unofficial start of summer, and that is exactly what the city of Dunkirk celebrated with sunny weather and family-friendly festivities galore for the Picnic in the Point event on Sunday.
Hundreds of people showed up at Point Gratiot to partake in carnival food like fried dough and kettle corn, listen to today's summer music hits and meet up with friends and family on the Lake Erie shore. Overall, the event seemed to be a huge success due to Mother Nature's cooperation.
"This event turned out very well and a lot of people showed up, better than I expected," City Clerk Nicole Joiner said.
OBSERVER?Photos by Greg Fox
Top: Victoria Leverenz of Dunkirk shows off her hula-hooping skills during Dunkirk’s Picnic in the Point at Point Gratiot on Sunday.
Above: Alexia (left), 7, gets her face painted by Tabitha Ruiz, membership coordinator of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County, during Picnic in the Point. Pictured in the background with her face painted is Manaya, 9.
Bottom: Alaina Freeman, 3, slides down an inflatable slide at Picnic in the Point as her father, Ryan Freeman of Williamsville, looks on.
"There's been tons of events for the children, and the weather was perfect for everybody to come out and enjoy it."
Event co-coordinator Tim Gornikiewicz agreed, adding turnout exceeded the first Picnic in the Point, which took place last year.
"It was a good crowd then, but it was a little cooler than (Sunday)," he said. "The (inflatable) bouncers seemed to be very popular. We had them last year, and this year that's where everyone was. We had DJ Bear for music and the free Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse tours were also popular."
In addition to an inflatable bounce house and slide, children (and some adults) could hula hoop and play miniature games, and even get their faces painted by volunteers from the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County.
Dunkirk resident Donna Brisky said the nice weather brought her and her family out to the event.
"My daughter's here from Williamsville, visiting for the Memorial Day holiday, and we're just enjoying the family all together," she said.
Louise Leverenz, also of Dunkirk, came out for Picnic in the Point the first time around and said she and her daughter, Victoria, loved it so much that they came back this year.
"I'm glad they do this stuff in our town because it's nice," she remarked.
As part of a small raffle, David Kennedy of Forestville won a bicycle and Jenna Pagan of Dunkirk received a cooler and two camping chairs.
Picnic in the Point was sponsored by National Grid, Brooks Memorial Hospital, NRG Energy, Cott Beverages, DFT Communications, Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce and Advanced Production Group.
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