The Great American Picnic: This Saturday, and You’re invited!

This Saturday, July 20, you are invited to the Great American Picnic. Grab a partner for the 3-legged race, join in on the Tug of War, enter in the pie-eating contest, and see the Daffodil Queen! Pack a picnic, and support a great cause, our veterans.

Carmen Palmer, communications director for the city of Sumner, explained how the event came about, “There was an article from the early 1900s that talked about a Puyallup-Sumner picnic, so we’re borrowing that tradition a bit.  We have lots of events where our Community Connector units from the military come out to our communities and have a great time, but it’s hard for them to really mingle with the community members and vice-versa.  We thought that nothing helps bond people naturally and quickly like competing on a team together. That’s why the teams are just Sumner and Puyallup and will be made up of military, community leaders, people who live, work and play in our communities.”

The City of Sumner is borrowing from the long-standing, friendly rivalry between the cities of Sumner and Puyallup to raise money for the local chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA). Local chapters of AUSA are run entirely by volunteers, and provide support for deployed soldiers and their families that are left behind.  From the AUSA website:
“The AUSA and its’ chapters have contributed over $2,000,000 to awards, scholarships, and support of soldier and family programs.”

Carmen reminds us, “Sometimes, we forget [creating community] is as simple as unplugging and enjoying a softball game on a sunny Saturday afternoon.” Carmen has done a lot of community outreach to make this event happen, and coordinated a long list of community sponsors to make it happen.

This is one of the events in Sumner’s six-week long Rhubarb Pie Festival. During the Festival, there are a great variety of events in Sumner, from arts fairs to outdoor music to sports.  Carmen promotes the festival with reminding people, “We’re known not only for our rhubarb pie but also for our small-town charm. The Great American Picnic a great chance to come out and give the “charm” a try while supporting our military.”

For event participation, pre-registration is needed for major sports team events (soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball) and at players should be least high school age to literally even the playing field.

For the field games, anyone can come that day and sign up to participate. Any age can sign up and have fun.  The Daffodil Festival princesses and Daffodilians have volunteered to coordinate the field games.

For the eating contest, there will be mini rhubarb pies and scones. Why these 2 food items? Sumner is the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World and Puyallup is well known for their scones. Eaters from Puyallup (or claiming to support them) will eat scones and Eaters from Sumner (or claiming to support them) will eat pies. The first team to finish, wins!  There will be separate rounds for children and adults.  For this event, deputy mayor Mike LeMaster and Police Chief Brad Moericke will be leading the charge for Sumner.

Event details:
The Great American Picnic will be held on Saturday, July 20, from 11 am to 4 pm at the Daffodil Valley Sports Complex, in Sumner. The event is free to attend, and food will be available for purchase. The complex is Located at Washington St. and Graham Ave. 5604 Graham Ave, Sumner, WA

Schedule of Events
11 AM            Start – Star Spangled Banner & Welcome
11:15 AM       Soccer  (Main Field)
Noon              Basketball (Basketball Court), Volleyball (Volleyball Court)
1 pm                Sack Race
1:30 pm           Softball  (Main Field), Water Balloon Toss
2 pm                Three-legged race
2:30 pm           Tug of War  (Main Field), Pie vs. scone eating contest
3 pm                Exhibition Softball Game – Puyallup vs. Sumner, Sack Race II
3:30 pm           Water Balloon Toss II
4 pm                Awards and closing

For more information about the event, please visit:
For more information about AUSA, and the local chapter, visit their website:

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

Edited by Reba Winstead, editor for

1 thought on “The Great American Picnic: This Saturday, and You’re invited!”

  1. Hey this would be a great event for my son and I to go to. It’s a bit far since I’m in Olalla but I think well worth it.. Thanks for the info.

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