This past Sunday, my family celebrated the 116th annual Premo Picnic. Whenever I tell people about the Premo Picnic, they say “wait, ONE HUNDRED and (fill-in-the-blank) years?” Yep! You heard right! Since 1896 my father’s side of the family has been getting together each summer and recording minutes of the past year’s events (it’s a very large book of minutes…but we went electronic around the 105th). It started as a Christmas gathering in 1896. (That’s also where our tradition of oyster stew every Christmas got started). But, as long as I’ve been around, The Premo Picnic been held on the third Sunday of July on the south shore of Devil’s Lake near Baraboo, WI (which is pretty near Wisconsin Dells if you’re familiar with that tourist attraction!).
We do lots of things at the Premo Picnic: swimming in the lake, hiking up the rocky bluffs, and we EAT. This reunion is a true potluck – never know what’s going to show up! The fare ranges from old favorites to new recipes but somehow we always end up with every part of the meal accounted for. Appetizers, salads, main dishes, sandwiches, fruits, veggies and definitely dessert! Luckily, we have the opportunity to burn off some of these calories when we go hiking after the meal and our family meeting. We have officers and use Robert’s Rules. You can’t keep things going for 116 years without order!
This tradition is a really great one. I’ve always felt pretty special to be part of a family that has been gathering to celebrate the many branches of our family tree for over a century. We call it a picnic, but it always seems like much more. At the heart of it all, are the things that we certainly wouldn’t celebrate without – food and family. ‘Til next July, Premos. See you at the 117th!