Frenchville Picnic — serving food

The annual Frenchville Picnic will still take place this year on Sunday, July 19. But due to the current COVID-19 situation, things are a bit different when it comes to the meal. Those wanting the barbecue or oven roasted chicken or ham dinners now have the option to preorder — as well as choosing a time to pick the dinners up.

FRENCHVILLE — The 2020 Frenchville Picnic, sponsored by St. Mary Church, will still take place this summer as it has since the 1800s. But because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments have been made that include taking the event from a two-day affair to a single day.

Event organizer Mary Kay Royer said this year’s edition will take place on Sunday, July 19, starting at noon.

One big change taking place deals with how you can get their famous “picnic dinners.” They consist of barbecue or oven roasted chicken, or ham, along with mashed potatoes/gravy, noodles, green beans, baked beans, coleslaw, pickled eggs/beets, roll/butter and homemade desserts. Each costs $15 per adult and $7 for children under the age of 12.

This year they are offering a preorder option that consists of filling out a form and turning it in by July 10.

“The idea is that if you decide you want to fill out the form, to make it easier for people, they can actually fill it out and tell us when they want to come in and pick it up,” Royer said. “That way it’s not one huge line at one time because it is take-out only.”

Royer said by doing it this way, there is plenty of room to wait for the dinners and to practice proper social distancing.

“They can still get that good meal, but we won’t be serving it like we always do,” Royer said in comparison to past picnics.

For those wanting to preorder, you can pick up a form at the following places: Ace Hardware in Curwensville, Benton’s Market in Karthaus, Reed Brothers in Clearfield and the Visit Clearfield County office in Clearfield. You can then mail in that form to Dan and Diana Rowles at P.O. Box 161, Frenchville, PA 16836. Royer said you can also call them at (814) 263-4160 to place an order and checks are made payable to St. Mary Church, Frenchville.

If you don’t preorder, Royer said you can still show up the day of and order one of the dinners if they do not sell out. Typically, Royer said they have anywhere from 800 to 1,000 dinners each year.

Royer said she feels that it’s important — especially in times like these — that they are still able to come together as a community “but still continue to be safe.”

While the dinners are technically take-out only, Royer said they will have picnic tables and other areas set up for those wanting to utilize them. There are also other items available and events taking place, such as ice cream, games, a French raffle, hayrides and more.

More information about the picnic — including its other activities — will be available at a later date.

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