Military Appreciation Picnic returns for 21st year

The Navy League and Chamber of Commerce will host the 21st Annual Military Appreciation Picnic.

Next weekend, the Oak Harbor Navy League and the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce will host the 21st Annual Whidbey Island Military Appreciation Picnic, welcoming community members, active duty personnel and their families to enjoy some food and family fun in honor of the military.

The event will take place at Windjammer Park Saturday, Sept. 16 from noon to 4 p.m., and it’s open to the public. Attendees can enjoy premier pulled-pork BBQ, hot dogs, cake, various free foods and drinks. The event will also feature live music, games for children and a static helicopter display.

The picnic is returning to Windjammer Park after a few years of taking place by the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s building while the city did renovation work on the park, according to Pastor Dave Johnson, vice-president of the Navy League who is coordinating the event.

Cheryl Grehan, events and logistics manager for the chamber, said they are expecting up to 1800 attendees, with an estimate of 1500 people participating last year.

Grehan said many people in the military don’t experience much of the community outside of the base as they have to transfer to different bases during their career. The picnic is a way to show service members that the community welcomes them.

“Because we’re such a military town, we really wanted to show our appreciation for them,” she said.

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