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Picnic in the Park

Need a place to relax and unwind? Main Street Fort Dodge is offering a new twist on an old tradition

Main Street Fort Dodge is inviting locals to spend their lunch hour on Friday in downtown Fort Dodge, enjoying the company of others and some good music for a Picnic in the Park.

For the past three years, Main Street Fort Dodge has hosted Lunch on the Square to showcase downtown Fort Dodge, said Kris Patrick, the organization’s executive director.

“It’s a beautiful part of the downtown, the only really large green space and it was really being under utilized,” she said.

The concept was to serve a lunch sponsored by local businesses once a month, and feature local musicians for entertainment.

“This year, with COVID-19, we’re not able to do that,” Patrick said. “There’s no way we can really social distance if we’re serving food. We thought hard about this and everybody that we talked to really wanted a social event.”

Main Street Fort Dodge’s first priority is public safety, Patrick said. So they decided to host a lunch event where visitors will be able to properly social distance and bring their own lunches and just enjoy some time outdoors in downtown Fort Dodge.

Picnic in the Park will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday at City Square Park, 424 Central Ave. The event is free and open to the public. Entertainment will be provided by musician Gabriel Alves.

Visitors will be asked to stay six feet apart and there will be a table with masks and hand sanitizer for those who need them.

“Let’s just get outside, take a deep breath … and just have a relaxing and calm moment,” Patrick said. “I think in the last few months, you can just see everyone’s stress levels just go through the roof. It’s been a stressful time for everyone for different reasons, so we just wanted it to be a nice, relaxing event where people can come out and see their friends, even if it’s just a wave across the park.”

Main Street Fort Dodge will host another Picnic in the Park event on Sept. 11, where visitors can enjoy free sundaes from The Dariette, sponsored by downtown retailers.

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