Bring your family and picnic lunch Saturday, August 10, starting at 12 noon, to Annandale National Historic Site’s front lawn for the first Dolly and Teddy Bear Picnic.
“It’s a family fun event that we thought would fit well with the Hello Dolly exhibit,” said Patricia Phelps, Manager of Culture and Heritage/Curator.
The Tillsonburg museum at Annandale National Historic Site, 30 Tillson Avenue, is currently showcasing the Hello Dolly exhibit, which has more than 100 dolls from the museum collection, plus dolls from the community borrowed for the exhibit.
“The Hello Dolly exhibit ends that weekend (August 11), so we thought ‘what a great way to say adieu to the exhibit’ is to have a picnic. The idea is that families come and bring their own picnic lunch – so that’s why it starts at noon.
“We have a beautiful lawn and we’re going to have games and crafts and a tea party area where you can have a cup of tea – in a real china teacup – and a cookie. We’re going to set up tables with tablecloths and real china teacups so you can join the tea party after you have your picnic.
“I was planning to have tea and ice tea, because it will be hot. We’ll offer both.”
Participants are encouraged to bring their own teddy bears and dolls to the picnic, which is a free event.
There will be two Disney princesses, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Ariel (Little Mermaid), on site for photo opportunities.
“We’re going to have stories and songs, so a whole lawn full of fun family activities. Hopefully it will be a beautiful Saturday afternoon.”
In years past, a strawberry social was held on the ANHS lawn, but Phelps said the Dolly and Teddy Bear Picnic will be the first event “in a really long time” where families are invited to bring a picnic lunch.
“Of course, we do have picnic tables,” she noted, “and we’re always here – so you can always bring a picnic to the museum lawn at any point during the summer. It is an absolutely beautiful location. Even when it’s hot and sunny, the lawn is shady. And usually has a little bit of a breeze. The trees on the museum’s lawn are, as we like to say, ‘extremely mature trees,’ so they add a lot of shade. We know that at least two of them are 119 (years old) because there were two trees planted on the occasion of E.D. (Tillson) and Mary Ann’s 50th wedding anniversary, which was the 4th of July 1900. So it makes the lawn a perfect place for a picnic.”
Inside Annandale House, which is open free of charge (admission by donation) on the 10th, there will be a Teddy Bear Find.
“If the Turtle Find during Turtlefest is one of the things you love to do, now come and find the teddy bears,” said Phelps.
“And if you haven’t seen the Hello Dolly exhibit, it’s sort of your last chance to do so.”
If the weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event, there will be room for the picnic and tea party inside the museum.
“What can be moved inside – if the weather is really not nice – will be moved inside. You can have an ‘inside picnic,'” she smiled.