55th annual park social held at River View Community Park

| August 2, 2021

Walhonding Valley Fire District started cooking 840 chickens at 3:30 a.m. for the 55th annual River View Community Park Chicken BBQ on Sunday, Aug. 1. Despite the early start to their day, the men were having a good time and enjoyed helping with the BBQ. (Jen Jones)

River View Community Park held its 55th annual park social and chicken BBQ on Aug. 1. Last year, the park volunteers could only do drive-through service due to COVID. Judging by the crowd, people were very happy to be together and enjoying time at the park.

The social weekend started off on Friday with a pool party and Bingo in the large shelter. Sunday was the big event – the chicken BBQ and homemade ice cream.  Serving started at 11:30 a.m. and people were lining up before that. People were able to eat at the park or get their meals to go. Meals included half a chicken, baked beans, noodles made by Nellie United Methodist Church members and a roll.

For entertainment, McFarland Martial Arts school did a demonstration and the Walhonding Rube Band played. There also was the Beaver Run Duck Race and $55 coin toss in the pool. The coin toss was for children. $55 in coins were thrown in the pool and kids could dive for the money. The duck race is a popular activity.  Plastic ducks could be purchased, and they “raced” down the creek at the park.  The first duck to cross the finish line won money for the person who purchased it.

Jesse Fischer, a long-time park board volunteer, said, “All proceeds from the weekend go to the River View Community Park. It’s our only fundraiser this year and the money will help with the upkeep of the park and projects in the future.  We are so thankful for the great weather and for the opportunity to have our social the way we like to do it – together. Our motto is food, fun, fellowship.”  About 840 chickens were cooked for the BBQ.

The Walhonding Valley Fire District has cooked the chicken for the BBQ since the social began. The firefighters began cooking at about 3:30 Sunday morning and finished the last right as the serving began. Despite the early starting time, the firefighters were having fun, joking with each other and teasing the Chicken Chief, Casey Wilson.

Several members of the River View High School football team were on hand to help in any way they could with the social. Junior quarterback Carter Fry said they were helping to carry trays, serve food and clean up. “I just think it’s a good thing to help in our community. The social is a big thing for Warsaw and River View is Warsaw. It’s a great thing to come out and help whenever we can.”

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