Daytonians to dine together this weekend on “The Longest Picnic Blanket”

Hundreds of residents from all corners of Dayton sat down for a free dinner on the Third Street bridge during a Longest Table Dayton event. The event, which was supported by UpDayton, brought strangers together from different neighborhoods to share their experiences and views of where they live and how they compare to other parts of the city. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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Hundreds of residents from all corners of Dayton sat down for a free dinner on the Third Street bridge during a Longest Table Dayton event. The event, which was supported by UpDayton, brought strangers together from different neighborhoods to share their experiences and views of where they live and how they compare to other parts of the city. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

It’s been proven over the last few years that magic happens when hundreds of Daytonians gather to break bread.

“The Longest Picnic Blanket” event was cancelled in June because of severe weather and has been rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 at Levitt Pavilion. This will be the first time “The Longest Table” project is happening in a picnic setting. In previous years, thousands of Daytonians have come together at tables in community centers, parks, churches and even a table that stretched the entire length of the Third Street bridge.

“Unlike most Longest Table events, attendees are asked to bring their own picnic lunch this time,” said Bryan Stewart, volunteer project leader. “We think it will be a fun way to share a little bit about who you are and what you like. … We decided to host this year’s event at Levitt Pavilion Dayton because we want even more people to enjoy the magic of the Levitt lawn and its ability to connect people and build community.”

The event, which is supported by UpDayton, brings strangers together from different neighborhoods to share their experiences.

Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m., picnic and conversations begins at 5 p.m. and the even will wrap-up at 7 p.m. with a free concert at Levitt featuring Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.

When guests arrive, they will be randomly assigned to a small group of people to encourage new friendships and spark conversation between strangers. There will also be a gently-guided conversation that’s mean to connect and inspire, according to a Longest Table release.

People should remember to bring their own picnic and blanket to sit on, glass containers or bottles are not permitted on the Levitt lawn, no alcohol is permitted and children are welcome.

Organizers said there will be a supply of bagged lunches for anyone who forgets or who doesn’t otherwise have access to a good meal that day. There will also be water on site.

To RSVP to “The Longest Table Picnic”, visit thelongesttabledayton.com.

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