Softball League hints at changes at Memorial Day picnic

 This year’s Memorial Day picnic at the North Park Lodge will mark the 28th anniversary of the event—and the first sponsored by the Steel City Softball League.

        The SCSL took over sponsorship of this annual picnic from the Pittsburgh Tavern Guild and has worked in cooperation with local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations to plan the event. According to picnic organizer Gregory Cooper, the goal of the picnic is “to offer a safe and secure venue for the GLBT community to meet new friends and spend quality time with old friends.”

        The picnic, which begins at 11am and ends at 6:30pm on May 26, is expected to draw guests from as far away as Erie and Cleveland. Cooper believes the picnic is a way to have “a family reunion of our own.”

        Cooper said organizers have planned an assortment of activities and entertainment that will distinguish this year’s Memorial Day picnic from those held in the past. He declined to discuss the changes, and said only that picnic guests will have to “come and see” for themselves the fun that awaits them.   

        Cooper acknowledged that the SCSL sought to attract the widest possible crowd and said he believes organizers were able to integrate various activities in a way that will “satisfy niche groups” as well as the community overall. Display space will be provided free of charge to non-profit organizations wishing to set up a table or booth outside the lodge; vendors will be charged $100.

        Tickets to the picnic are $20 if purchased in advance at area gay bars and businesses or $25 if purchased at the gate the day of the event. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged so organizers can more accurately estimate the amount of food, beverages and other necessities.

To purchase tickets to the Memorial Day picnic or for more information about reserving display space, visit the Web site at www.memorialdaypicnic2003@comcast.net   or call the SCSL hot line at (412) 683-7676 and choose option 3.