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Big changes are planned for the Peru CSO picnic

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2014

A group of men sit around a table playing cards while another group play horseshoes. Draft beers are cheap enough to buy with spare change and pair well with a cup of mulligan stew or a fresh lunch meat sandwich. For years that was a Peru Citizen Service Organization Picnic.

Their 81st picnic is Sunday but for many women and children it will be their first. As CSO member Jack Landgraf explains they’re moving it from St. Bede Academy to Peru’s Centennial Park, changing the menu and opening it up to the family.

The picnic for years had been a stag but Landgraf says times have changed and they need to make their functions open to all citizens.

Landgraf says the picnic will be similar to one that was held during the city’s 175th celebration. You’ll be able to compete in bags and horseshoe tournaments. Children will have their own games and a bouncy house and CSO members will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. The mulligan stew pot, Landgraf says, is out of commission this year.

Coupled with the picnic is the Illinois Valley Rodders’ car show. The car show is from 9am-3pm and the picnic is from 12pm-7pm.

What hasn’t changed is the cause. The CSO uses the picnic to raise money for city projects such as hanging Christmas lights.

You can learn more about the history of the Peru CSO picnic by listening to an interview that’s available at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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