The Fallen Soldiers Picnic will be held Saturday, May 25, from 3 to 9 p.m. at Gravel Pit Park in North East. 

The event includes food, beverage and live music featuring Cross Fire. Entrance is $10 for the general public, $5 for children 6 to 12 years old and $5 for anyone with military ID. Children 5 and under are free. 

There will be a gifts auction, kids activity tent and bounce house. There is also a Bike Run from 10 a.m. to noon that starts at the Erie Harley Davidson and ends at the picnic. Cost is $15 per rider and $10 per passenger. All stops are in Pennsylvania.

The Fallen Soldiers Picnic is the only Memorial Day event which honors those from the community who have paid the ultimate price for the nation’s freedom. At the Fallen Soldiers Picnic, heroes from the community who were killed in action during OIF/OEF and after 2003 will be honored. Also,  honored from the community will be those who have lost their battle with PTSD as a result of their service.

In 2011, family and friends of fallen soldier Sgt. Donald Oaks, KIA in 2003, started a communitywide event to honor the soldiers from our community who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. In 2012, the event took on the official name of The Fallen Soldiers Picnic and defined a threefold mission: “Honoring the Fallen, Honoring the Families of the Fallen and Honoring all of our brave warriors, past and present.” The event now honors several other fallen heroes from the community: Cpl. Jarrid King (KIA 2011), Staff Sgt. Kenneth Van Giesen (KIA 2011), Sr. Airman Bryan Bell (KIA 2012), SSgt. Jeremy Horton (KIA 2004), SSgt. Eric Turner (2009), SSgt. Eric Groenendaal (2010) and Spc. Daniel Firestone (2014), the latter three having lost their battle here at home with PTSD.

For more information, contact Judy Hyde at 814-431-3965 or email Check out the Facebook page to keep up to date with all events at “The Fallen Soldiers Picnic” and on the website for more information.

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