Picnic in the Gardens is a free Christmas Day picnic lunch that is held each year for those people that have no place to go on Christmas Day. The picnic is held each year on the grounds of the Urangan Community Centre. With the day costing around $2,500 the organisers are lucky to have had the Hervey Bay RSL as major sponsors over the last seven years, through their Community Grants Program.
The day originally began in 2008 under the guidance of Reverend Brian Hoole and has run every year since then., the event used to be called, ‘Picnic at the Pines’, and was held at The Pine Park in Pialba. In 2014 Brian moved to Brisbane and passed the baton onto Janet Newman, the event has been running for the last couple of years under the name of Picnic in the Gardens to reflect the location.
It takes around 40-50 Volunteers that are drawn from around the Hervey Bay Community to run the event, and is run under the Auspice of the Fraser Coast Regional Council. Last year the event drew around 230 guests and took 40 volunteers to run, the organisers certainly expect a lot more people this year so will be catering for about 350 guests. While the majority of attendees are elderly, families and people from all walks of life attend, when children are present the volunteers run games as well.
The Meal starts with fruit platters, and the main consists of sausages, ham, a vegetarian option, and salads. This is followed by Christmas Cake and custard, provided by the Fraser Lions Club. Santa also visits with a small gift for the guests.
Organiser Janet Newman wants everyone to know, “There is no need for anyone to be alone on Christmas Day, so come on down and join us”.
Picnic in the Gardens
Cost: Free, donations are appreciated.
On the grounds of the Urangan Community Centre,
Botanical Gardens, Elizabeth St, Urangan