Sunday, Aug. 28 at 12:30 p.m.—PITTSFIELD— The Pittsfield Picnic will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene, Sunday, Aug. 28 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. This year, the town will celebrate more than just community.
In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene disconnected Pittsfield, by washing away the bridges on Route 100 on the north and south ends of town. As with many towns in Vermont, power was out, with the earliest restoration estimates to be two to four weeks. Residents made the best out of it and brought their food for a potluck picnic on the Village Green. Out of tragedy, the town pulled together.
At the first anniversary of the storm, residents gathered once again. Originally called the Pittsfield’s Town Shut Down (PTSD), a commemorative community celebration served as a fundraiser for the local fire department. The goal was to recreate the good that came from our experience, and reconnect with neighbors to reflect on the positive accomplishments the town was responsible for when its residents came together as a community and became “Pittsfield Proud.” In 2013, the name was changed to “Pittsfield Picnic.” It has become an annual picnic, less about Tropical Storm Irene and more about celebrating the strength of the community.
It also became a fundraiser for the town’s recreation area, where the picnic is held. In 2013, two horseshoe pits were added and the “Pittsfield Proud” Horseshoe Tournament was born. Over the last three years, the event has raised $5,800 towards the basketball court that was originally built by volunteers in the 1970s. The Town provided an additional $1000, via the 2016 town budget. The Town will be installing two new goals this fall, one of which is an adjustable-height goal for the younger and physically challenged players. All the funds are raised through donations, a silent auction, and horseshoe tournament and will aid resurfacing and relining the court.
To commemorate reaching the first “goal” of the rehabilitation project, The Detours, a five-piece blues band, will be playing from 1 to 4 p.m. The silent auction, potluck event, horseshoe tournament, and field games for kids big and small will also take place from 12:30 to 4 p.m. For info, visit ppicnic.com/about.