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‘Old Timers Picnic’ at zoo canceled for lack of funds

May 25th, 2011 · Comments

Seattle Parks and Recreation has canceled its annual Old Timers Picnic at Woodland Park Zoo because of budget cuts. This would have been the 39th year of the Old Timers Picnic, which brought senior citizens to the zoo for a special day.

From the press release:

Co-sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Human Services Department’s Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens, and Senior Services, the picnic provided a hot dog lunch, an outdoor experience at a park, live music and entertainment, information from the Mayor, civic leaders, and service providers, and a social experience on an August day almost guaranteed to bring fair weather.

In recent years the picnic has taken place at the Woodland Park Zoo, where picnickers could wander the exhibits after lunch. Each agency brought in-kind resources to the event, so the only real expense was the food. In 2010, the sponsor providing funding for the food ended its support, and the cost of the food fell to Parks. Parks has experienced a 10% reduction in its operating budget in 2011 and can no longer support the event.

“I’m terribly disappointed to have to end this great tradition,” said Acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, “but we just don’t have the funds to pay for it. When financial times improve, we’ll try to put together another event that celebrates the energy and wisdom of our seniors.”

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