Picnic Saturday pays tribute to service members

Saturday, the Oak Harbor Area Council of the Navy League will continue its longstanding tradition of appreciating the military by serving free food and providing entertainment for the whole family.

“I’m a very big fan of making sure that the spouses are just as well recognized and supported as the active duty,” said Greg Smith, president of the Oak Harbor Navy League.

The 19th annual Whidbey Island Military Appreciation Picnic will run from noon to 4 p.m. next to the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to free Alabama-style barbecue from Orlando’s Fish and Grill, hot dogs and drinks, there will be a military working dog demonstration, face painting and a live band, Smith said. Last year Navy League volunteers served 2,800 people, and they’re looking to surpass previous attendance this year.

The event is supported by a number of local businesses, volunteers and elected leaders, according to a press release. Smith said he enjoys seeing the community support that shines through at the picnic.

“It’s the community as a family, that’s what really elates me,” he said. “It’s nice to see everybody coming around and thanking them for their service,” he later added.

• Those who would like to volunteer at the picnic or donate to the Navy League can contact its leadership through its website oakharbornavyleague.org or call 360-720-8398.

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