By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - Hundreds of Shenandoah area residents came out to the east end Sunday afternoon for the 13th annual community picnic hosted by Mrs. T's Pierogies at their Herald Road plant.
1,500 tickets were printed and distributed to Shenandoah Chamber of Commerce members, and all tickets were claimed, according to company president Tom Twardzik.
The event began at 11:00am, though attendees lined Herald Road up to an hour early waiting to get in.
The George family, of Shenandoah, attended the picnic all wearing matching "Pierogy Squad" T-Shirts. Tom George noted that the family liked the family-oriented atmosphere of the event, and that games for children were present as well.
"I enjoy working for the company. They're really community oriented," added Tom, a Mrs T's employee.
Other Mrs T's employees attended the event, though as volunteers, wearing two-tone Pierogy Squad shirts as they either served food, or handled games.
Among the volunteers was Twardzik, operating a basketball game and distributing prizes to the participants.
"The games that we have now, I think, are very attractive to the young kids that come to the picnic, with the parents and grandparents that are bringing them down," said Twardzik. "So they're having a really good time. I think that's really the main reason for us."
Twardzik noted a challenge in the event is having attendees rotate between the stands, particularly bingo.
"The biggest challenge, and people are being nice about it, is, you've got to find a gentle way to make sure that they rotate," said Twardzik. "We don't want everybody to come, sit, camp, and that's it. We want a lot of people to have the opportunity to play bingo and to have fun with it."
"People are very happy. It's a really neat thing," added Twardzik. "It's just a lot of smiling people."
Different stands at the event included a basketball game, ring toss, photo booth, face painting, and an inflatable obstacle course/slide.
Attendees received tickets for food as well, as burgers, hot dogs, funnel cake, and of course pierogies were served.
The entire event, including food and refreshments, was free to the public.
Also during the event, Mrs. T's mascot Pierogie Man roamed and interacted with attendees, as did a clown. Pierogie Man also participated in a chicken dance with attendees.
The event concludes at 3:00pm, and was organized by Anthony Burt, assistant PR manager for the company.
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