Community Picnic Has Always Been a Success
In the spring of 1998, there were two nights of student unrest and the relationship between students and the police was not the best. In an effort to reach out to the community and the students, the Oxford Police Division began its Annual Pig Roast. Each year in the fall since 1998, students are welcomed back with this huge event. Over the twenty years some changes have taken place, the name was changed to the Community Picnic to encourage more attendance. The pigs which were once cooked on spits in the uptown are now pre-cooked, pre-shredded and catered in along with other menu choices. In 1998, there were a few hundred visitors and just last week at the 20th anniversary picnic, roughly 3400 people were served.
John Buchholz, Community Outreach Specialist for OPD, coordinates the picnic from February through August solo and then works with approximately 150 volunteers who set-up, serve, and tear-down. For several years, Miami University’s Synchronized Skating Team has performed food prep and Miami’s ROTCs help with tear-down. Several City of Oxford employees are essential to the labor needed for this event. Initially all the sponsors for the picnic were police departments. Overtime, the sponsors have become less police departments and more Oxford-community oriented. The $12,000 picnic budget is shared between the City of Oxford, Oxford Police Department, various Miami University Departments, Intra-Fraternity Council as well as numerous businesses and citizens who donate money. The donations provide all of the food, supplies, and giveaways.
2018 Picnic Needs Were:
- 2000 hamburger patties
- 700 hot dogs
- 1000 pulled pork sandwiches
- 300 veggie burgers
- 4500 bags of chips
- 4500 paper plates and napkins
- 4500 bottles of water
- 300 dozen hamburger and hot dog buns
- 3000 cups of ice cream
- 1000 cups of frozen lemonade
- 6000 wooden spoons for ice cream and lemonade
Any food leftover is donated to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry and community dinners.