Portia Picnic Still Going Strong After 102 Years

PORTIA, AR--Whether you are young or old the Portia Picnic is an event that has attracted people from across Region 8 to the tiny Lawrence County town for 102 years.

"I'm 74 years-old and I started coming here when I was 14. I have been coming a while," said Walnut Ridge resident Rex Gentry.

While Gentry has more than 50 Portia Picnics under his belt, Nellie Richey is bringing her son for the first time to an event she too grew up attending.

"It's awesome seeing his face for the first time and him realizing what it is all about," said Richey.

The yearly event offers something for everybody, but it is hard getting a straight answer as to what is everyone's favorite part.

"The rides," said Richey.

"I came to ride the swings and the loopty things and such as that, but as I grow older, I come to listen to the music and take it easy," said Gentry.

For others like five year-old Haley Dickson, it's the fine cuisine that can only be found at an event like this one.

"Popcorn and pickles," said Dickson.

While the rides, food and entertainment make this event fun, according to Gentry that's not what has kept this event alive for 102 years.

"Bout everybody would go north to work and come Fourth of July. They would all come back and meet here and enjoy it. That's still a good thing, I have seen a lot of friends I wouldn't have seen had I not come here," said Gentry.

Good friends and good times have kept this event alive for more than a century, and residents are expecting at least another 100 years of great memories.

The 102nd Portia Picnic kicked off Thursday night and runs through the Fourth of July.