Reelin’ in the years at the Regional Park |

Reelin’ in the years at the Regional Park

There was a time when Truckee Soda Works bottled Donner Label pop, when hobos were jailed for panhandling, and when the snows brought life to a halt for days on end.

The stories are nearly endless, and the place to hear them is at the Old-Timers Picnic. A 26-year Truckee tradition, the Old-Timers Picnic is a gathering ground for generations of residents, past and present.

“It’s quite an ordeal,” said fourth generation resident Heidi Euer Martin who is helping to plan this year’s event. “The historical society brings books and photos and historical researchers come to talk.”

Veterans reunite for the first time since Vietnam, she said, others meet the grandchildren of decades-old classmates, and still others rub elbows with neighbors of yesteryear.

“I go there to visit with the people I’ve known for years ” there’s not too many left,” said 86-year resident Mary Deliho. “It’s a nice place to spend a whole day to visit and meet new people.”

But keeping the Old-Timers Picnic alive has become a challenge as years roll on and Truckee’s senior residents age and pass.

In the picnic’s first years, close to 200 people were in attendance; last year fewer than half that number showed.

“A lot of the old people have passed away, so now it’s the baby boomers that are trying to keep it going,” Martin said. “I’m trying to make it more of a young thing too. It has nothing to do with how long you’ve lived here, just that you’ve called Truckee home.”

The 26th annual Old-Timers’ Picnic and Truckee Reunion will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22 ” rain or shine ” at Truckee River Regional Park, off Brockway Road. Bring a picnic lunch and lawn chairs or blanket.

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