The city of Woodstock will kick off its annual Summer in the Park festivities with the return of the Picnic in the Park contest Wednesday, July 12.

The contest, which runs during the Woodstock City Band Concert, debuted last July and saw entries from more than 12 competitors. This year the city hopes for an even bigger spread in terms of entries and sponsors.

The picnic settings should be no larger than 6 feet by 6 feet and conform to one of four themes: “Romance in the Air,” “Around the World,” “Enchanted Garden” or “Sports Is My Game.”

Concert-goers not entering the contest still can bring picnic items, and alcoholic beverages will be permitted for adults 21 and older but must come into the park unopened and leave capped.

Displays will be judged beginning at 7:30 p.m., and winners will be awarded in each category with gift baskets from local merchants. Judges will include former Chief of Police Robert Lowen. Winners will be announced at approximately 8:15 p.m. during band intermission.

“We have some generous donations from local businesses,” said Jane Howie, one of the event organizers.

People wishing to compete should fill out a registration form and return it to City Hall in person, by mail or email. Preregistration is encouraged but onsite registration will be available. Check-in will be at the Opera House from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

For information and forms, visit or call Howie or Betsy Cosgray at 815-338-4301.

The event is organized by Mayor Brian Sager, City Manager Roscoe Stelford, Howie, executive assistant to the city manager and mayor, and Cosgray, office assistant.

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