PHILADELPHIA — Hundreds of families packed Fairhill Square Park last week for state Sen. Christine Tartaglione’s Community Picnic.

Attendees delighted in free music, hot dogs, soft pretzels, water ice, face painting, and the senator’s popular back-to-school backpack giveaway. Hundreds of youths walked away wearing new school bags on their shoulders and smiles on their faces.

The event was the first of the senator’s three annual Community Picnics in her Second Senate District. The next two will be held on Aug. 15 at Lawncrest Playground and on Aug. 22 at Wissinoming Park. All three events last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are open to the public. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Each child may receive one backpack.

“This is a great time of year to be a youngster in the Second District and it’s a pleasure for me too," Sen. Tartaglione said. "I really enjoy mingling with the children and their families while helping them ease the costs of the upcoming school year.

"When we give each child a backpack filled with supplies like pencils, erasers, and notebooks, it means they will have the tools to succeed during the upcoming school year.”

Many longtime partners and some popular new ones teamed up with the senator to make the event possible. Picnic-goers enjoyed Dietz & Watson hot dogs, Philadelphia Water Ice, and soft pretzels from the Philly Pretzel Factory. All-American Home Care brought its child face-painting station, while the 26th Police District conducted child fingerprinting.

The Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office showed off its new touch-screen, paper-ballot voting machines, and the folks from Hyperion Bank handed out lollipops along with information about their financial services. Brightside Academy was on hand to inform parents about their child daycare programs.

Sen. Tartaglione is looking forward to the next Community Picnic at Lawncrest Playground, 6000 Rising Sun Avenue, on Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children wishing to get a free backpack must first visit the senator’s table to obtain a ticket from a staff member.

“I welcome everyone to join us again next week. It’s a great chance to meet new friends and enjoy the summer one more time before the new school year!” Tartaglione said.

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