Indian Creek may be small, but its annual picnic is not.
Cars were lined up yesterday on both sides of the township’s one road, and parked in every crevice of the small community that the drivers could find. Hundreds of people from across the area made their way to the Swinkey Picnic – some to celebrate the area’s lasting tradition…others for their notably mouth-watering chicken.
According to Chuck Kendrick, longtime community member of Indian Creek, Swinkey Picnic is the oldest annual picnic in Missouri. He continued, stating that this picnic was established the same year as the township’s St. Stephen’s parish in 1833, making both 184 years old.
The picnic served over 600 people, and the line in which people stood wrapped the entire length of Indian Creek’s community center and out its doors. The meal included ham, chicken, corn, green beans, pasta salad, tea, and an array of deserts. Kendrick’s wife, Patty, helped in the kitchen and said they cooked over 42 gallons of green beans.
Other kitchen helper Kathy Spurgeon said that they had been complimented by several picnic-goers for being a “well-oiled machine.”
Activities at the picnic included bingo, horseshoes, two raffles (quilt and other), and plenty of arcade games to keep the kids entertained. Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, also known as Eric Hudson and Jade Thomas, made an appearance at the picnic. The two teens were announced on July 4th as Hannibal’s 2017 winners of Tom Sawyer Days. The ‘couple’ performed Tom and Becky’s engagement scene and shared their experiences with the crowd.
This year’s t-shirts read, “12 miles from Paris; 9 miles from Florida; 30 miles from Mexico; Where is this amazing place?”
Overall, the picnic was a success. Attendees left the picnic full of food and happiness. At this rate, good ol’ Swinkey will stay in existence for another 184 years.