Manassas Journal Messenger | Picnic helps strengthen neighborhood bonds

Christians Involved Together with Youth, or C.I.T.Y., brought a great deal more than five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed the multitudes Saturday afternoon in Georgetown South.

Dennis Joyner, the treasurer of C.I.T.Y., a consortium of area churches that has been hosting the Georgetown South Community Picnic for 14 years, said organizers have experience feeding and entertaining the masses.

“We’ve got cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers. We’ve got fish. We’ve got a popcorn machine and of course we’ve got the moon bounce. We’ve got a karate demonstration. Two bands, ‘Accord,’ and the ‘Youthful Spirits,’ ” Joyner said.

“This is great opportunity for the kids to have some fun and for the adults in the community to get to know each other,” he said.

Joyner’s wife Jackie was chief procurement officer and head fish fryer for this year’s picnic.

“We had 300 hamburgers, 300 hot dogs. When you get to the chicken, it was 600 pieces … the little wings … and there was 600 pieces of fish fried,” she said.

The Georgetown South Neighborhood Watch brought 130 cupcakes and 10 pans of brownies.

Willie Wilson, 65, has been in charge of grilling the hamburgers and hot dogs for years. Like any good elder statesman, he knows how to delegate authority and teaches what he knows.

Turia Parker and Darnell Davis were the recipients of Harris’ grilling wisdom.

“He’s teaching us how to make the best hamburgers and the best hot dogs,” Parker, 45, said.

“Nice and tender and soft,” Harris reminded his spatula wielding acolytes.

“I learned that when you see the clear juice coming off of it, it’s time to take it off, because that means it’s done and it’s nice and tender,” Parker said of cooking a well-done, yet tender hamburger.

“The chicken, you’ve got to keep moving it around so it won’t stick together. You keep pushing it around and it cooks good. He taught us that,” Parker said of Harris.

Davis said she learned that hot dogs require much less time over charcoal than she would have imagined.

“Usually you just turn them a two or three of times and they’re good to go. Especially with this kind of fire,” Davis, 28, said.

The women said they would refrain from boasting of their knew knowledge the next time they saw someone else behind a grill.

“There’s a time and a place to be quiet,” Parker said. “Maybe I’ll watch them and see what I can learn.”

“I’m very humble,” Davis said.

Manassas Police officers stayed busy finger printing children for Project Ident-a-Child.

Officer Gary Meyers said the attraction is in the ink pads.

“It’s fun to get messy and they can do this without getting in trouble,” Meyers said.

“It’s cool,” said a little boy as he wiped his fingers on a pre-moistened towelette and ran off to play with his friends.

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