Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

June 21, 2013

Annual picnic to feature new attractions

NICOLE DOMINIQUE Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — The Sacred Heart Picnic is offering more opportunities to “enjoy each other” this weekend as more entertainment and teen activities are scheduled.

“There’s something to do for everyone,” said Marketing and Development Director Christy Hakman. “Come out and enjoy each other.”

New this year is the Community Theater, sponsored by area Subway restaurants. The theater, located on the blacktop behind Sacred Heart School, will double the picnic’s large-scale entertainment.

Previously, the venue offered one concert and an auction, but this year there will be two concerts and a dance and karate demonstration in addition to the big Sunday sale.

“We really wanted to beef up the entertainment side this year,” Hakman said. “This is the first time ever we actually have a sponsor.”

The venue’s fun begins at 7 p.m. Saturday with the FireBox concert. Parishioners will put on a “sister act” show during intermission.

On Sunday, Community Theater will also host the live auction at 1 p.m., followed by Dance Etc. and Larson’s Karate live demonstrations at 5 p.m., and a FACE (Fine Arts County of Effingham) concert at 7 p.m.

For the teen scene, there are some new games with more age-appropriate prizes.

“We’ve always had stuff for the younger kids to do, but for teens and young adults, there wasn’t as much for them,” Hakman said.

That will change this year, with a fast-pitch galley with a radar detector tent by Premier Athletic Club, a free-throw challenge and a putting challenge.

The pitching contest gives participants three throws, and tells them how fast their first and second pitches were. They are then asked to guess how fast their third pitch is, and if they are close enough, they will win a prize.

Contestants may choose between taking the small prize and putting their name into a raffle for bigger items, including a putter valued at $300, cash prizes and NBA players’ jerseys.

“It’s just something else trying to fill the niche and appeal to teens and young adults,” Hakman said.

All ages can take advantage of a new addition this year — a photo booth, supplied by Walnut Street Weddings. The booth will print out photos moments after the flash, and includes a prop box full of funny hats and mustaches.

About 75 items will be auctioned off on Sunday, including furniture, professional sports packages, fitness classes and even a full orthodontic treatment, valued at more than $5,000.

“There are a number of families who have called to tell us they will be fighting over that prize,” Hakman said.

Old favorites will also be featured over the weekend, like carnival rides, the flea market and of course food.

“There’s plenty of good old-fashioned picnic food like brats, burgers and even a sit-down dinner in the parish center on Sunday — chicken and ham and all the fixings,” Hakman said.

The picnic has also expanded a bit to allow for extra seating, bigger flea market aisles and all-around comfort.

“The main thing is the tradition of bringing the family out and enjoying an afternoon or evening of family togetherness, knowing there’s something for everyone to do,” Hakman said. “All the proceeds go to a great cause to help the school succeed. There’s something to do for everyone.”