Jefferson County community members enjoying the 2017 Jefferson All County Picnic. The 2019 picnic starts at 11 a.m. Sunday. (Rodney Just)

Jefferson County community members enjoying the 2017 Jefferson All County Picnic. The 2019 picnic starts at 11 a.m. Sunday. (Rodney Just)

Jefferson All County Picnic invites public Sunday

CHIMACUM — The seventh annual Jefferson County All County Picnic will give attendees the opportunity to learn about emergency preparedness, meet fellow community members and make connections with first responders.

The free picnic will start at 11 a.m. Sunday at HJ Carroll Park at 9884 state Highway 19 and will end at 4 p.m.

“I think the theme of emergency preparedness is kind of this intense thing that isn’t necessarily fun to talk about,” said coordinator Daniel Milholland of Thunderbull Productions.

“But what I’ve witnessed is a lot of enthusiasm and participation.

“It’s not a controversial topic. It’s a topic that brings people together. It’s not really politically charged. It’s something people can really unite upon.”

The picnic costs about $10,000 to put on, Milholland said. It is funded primarily through business sponsors and the Department of Emergency Management in Jefferson County.

At the picnic will be many first responders from Jefferson County — including from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Port Townsend Police Department — who will offer information on the services they provide and what people can do in the event of an emergency.

Picnic organizers’ aim is to bring communities and neighborhoods together and allow them to start making plans for the future, Milholland said.

“I’ve witnessed a lot of neighborhood preparedness groups grow and strengthen in enthusiasm,” Milholland said.

“One of the tag lines for the event is ‘a gathering of neighborhoods’ and there is a program that happens throughout the year called Macro Neighborhoods, which is basically a chance for neighborhoods to get together and have their own neighborhood planning around a theme of preparedness and this picnic has inspired a ton of neighborhoods to come together,” he continued.

“What happens within those neighborhoods becomes more than just emergency planning,” he added.

“They start to have their own neighborhood block parties. Some neighborhoods start sharing resources. A neighborhood has a neighborhood truck.

“So these neighborhoods become activated communities and I think the picnic has been a big part of inspiring a big part of that kind of activity within Jefferson County.”

Workshops and presentations about preparedness and safety training will be staggered throughout the day.

Here is the schedule:

11:30 a.m. — “THRIVE,” healthy emergency preparedness food, by Anita King; Emergency First Aid- Stop the Bleed by Willie Bence; and “How Community Gardens Changed My Life by Judy Alexander.

12:30 p.m. — Water Filtration/Purification by John Crooks; Canning and Food Preservation by Diana Wiklund; and Go-Kit/Emergency Food Supplies by Keppie Keplinger.

1:30 p.m. —Map Your Neighborhood by Deborah Stinson and Thad Bickling; Hands Only CPR by Willie Bence; Disaster Chef Demo by Arran Stark.

2:30 p.m. —Growing Groceries by Lys Burden and Nita Wester; Disaster Skills Chautauqua by Jadyne Reichner of CedarRoot Folk School; Firewise: Disaster Prevention by East Jefferson Fire-Rescue.

“Life Straws” will be for sale at the picnic, which are straws that filter water water directly so “you can put it right in a dirty puddle and drink fresh water,” Milholland said.

“Those straws have literally saved people’s lives and they’re for sale for $20 and all the profits from that go back to supporting the event.”

Other emergency preparedness supplies will be available for purchase.

Food also will be available through a variety of vendors. Organizers will give away 1,000 ears of corn on the cob to attendees, Milholland said.

More information on a complete list of vendors and sponsors can be found online at


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].

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