The horse-drawn carriages are long gone but St. Mary Church Swormville has held a summer picnic for the community since its inception in 1849. St. Mary’s 173rd annual Parish Picnic is now a Picnic Weekend! The fun begins with the 11th annual Chowder Chase 5K Run/3K Walk at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. The Chowder Chase will be run on a new, flat, USATF-certified course and will be professionally timed by ScoreThis. The first 200 registrants are guaranteed a commemorative Chowder Chase T-shirt. Go to www.stmaryspicnic.com for the race registration link.
Saturday night, the public is invited to the post-race adult Wine and Beer Social, sponsored by Wild Horse Wine and Spirits, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Live music will be provided by Not Quite Right. Craft beer, wine, cocktail cans and soda will be available along with Stockman’s Clam Bar, Luigi’s Pizza and Lil Jenny’s Ice Cream Truck. I Got It and Wine Toss games will be open.
Picnic day is Sunday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy family-friendly fun, food and entertainment including St. Mary’s famous kettle-cooked chowder! BW BBQ Chicken Dinners will begin at noon and there will be a food court complete with curly fries and a dessert bar! Children will love the Kid Zone games, the Balloon Guy, crafts, inflatables and performances by Bubblemania and the Magic of Michael Joseph.
Everyone’s favorite game, “I Got It” and Trinkets & Treasures will be open all day. Starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, enjoy live music by Gimme Buffet. For the 21 and over crowd, stop by the Wild Horse Beer & Wine Garden and try the adult games of skill and chance. A tour of St. Mary’s historic, newly renovated chapel will begin at 2 p.m.
St. Mary’s Picnic Raffle tops off the weekend with a drawing for a grand prize of $10,000 at 5 p.m. Raffle tickets will be available at Saturday night’s post-race party and at the picnic on Sunday.
St. Mary Church Swormville is located at 6919 Transit Road in East Amherst.