Ice cream, fire trucks, live music and dinosaurs can all be found at this year’s Arcadia G.A.I.N. picnic.
“We call it a picnic because it’s just a big, fun, free event for the neighborhood,” said Arcadia Camelback Neighborhood Association’s (ACMNA) Board of Directors Member and Event Planner Brian Flader. “There will be food, live music and chances to get out and know your neighbors.”
G.A.I.N. stands for Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods. According to Flader, G.A.I.N. events have been happening Valley-wide dating back to the 1980s and are usually held in mid-October. This year though, to avoid the heat, ACMNA will be hosting the event on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 2-5 p.m. at Hopi Elementary School.
Flader has been working on the Arcadia picnic for the past two years and promises this will be the best one yet.
“We have been really trying to ramp it up and increase the budget,” said Flader. “But this is not a fundraiser for us, this is our way to give back to the neighborhood.”
Flader believes this event is important for the neighborhood because it encourages a strong community feel and helps neighbors to be social with those who live around them and meet new people.
This year, the event will truly go to the next level in an effort to be a more kid-friendly affair. The Dino Crew, a group that brings dinosaurs to life with the use of car-sized mechanical dinosaur suits, will be making an appearance. Kids and adults will be able to step back into time and visit with a T-Rex, or maybe even a Pterodactyl, while enjoying the picnic.
In addition, the Phoenix Police Department will bring its ice cream truck to the party and the fire department may even stop by with a fire truck.
Flader believes that having the chance to meet the first responders may be the most important part of the event.
“The police department has been huge for us – they have been a massive supporter,” said Flader. “This is an amazing opportunity to meet the police officers who patrol the streets and the first responders involved in the neighborhood.”
Flader is very excited about the Hopi location this year because it provides increased room for more activities for both children and adults.
Live music will be provided by the local band Dusty Tuffet, an Americana string band that has a unique take on eclectic covers both old and new.
“Its a chance to have fun, listen to music and enjoy some food…that doesn’t cost anything,” said Flader.
When: Saturday, November 2, 2-5 p.m.
Where: Hopi Elementary School, 5110 E. Lafayette Blvd.