Ardmore neighbors had more than a few reasons to celebrate Independence Day but the return of the annual 4th of July picnic was a big one.

A family-friendly event sponsored by the Ardmore Neighborhood Association, the potluck lunch was a relaxed and fun gathering of multiple generations.

Traditional picnic foods turned up in force. Gallons of sweet tea and fresh, real lemonade washed down deviled eggs, hot dogs, hummus, fruit, fried chicken and patriotic-themed cupcakes.

Fantastic prizes were handed out to the balloon pop activity.

Well-behaved dogs – on leash, of course – got to sniff and wag at will. Children had a choice of activities.

They jostled to be on hand when the red star piƱata yielded up its contents.

Kids queued up for some very creative face painting courtesy of Lyndia Cone.

The participants of the decorated tricycles parade were so caught up in the passion of the moment that they took to the tarmac – stars ‘n stripes flapping in the wind – and rode off on a longer, entirely different route than the one that had been planned for them.

Happily, all of them made it back.

A terrific job was done by the picnic’s organizer-in-chief Marlo Newman who sits on the board of the Ardmore Neighborhood Association and serves as the organization’s treasurer.

Volunteers showed up early to hang decorative swags and banners.

Plenty of people stayed late to help with the clean up, and everything that was left behind found a home except for one jeweled hula hoop that is still in the back of Bonnie’s car.

Special appreciation is owed to the business sponsors and donors of the balloon pop prizes.

They include Whole Foods, Gigi’s cupcakes, Harris Teeter, Mainstream Boutique, Stella Brew, Ardmore Realty, Bonnie Blue’s Pickles & Relish, First Citizen’s Bank, Lowes Foods, Publix, Style Encore and Ruff Housing.

Thanks too for PB’s donation of 100 hot dogs and buns and for Moe’s chips & salsa.

If you do business with any of these places, please mention the Ardmore Neighborhood Association and thank them for their support.

Oh, and mark your calendar for next year: The Ardmore 4th of July picnic is back!!!

July 4 Pinic at Miller Park

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