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Friday, June 10, 2011

First Post-War Tri-State Community Picnic

The First Post-War Tri-State Community Picnic was held on Wednesday, August 6, 1947. The celebration was sponsored by The East Liverpool Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Program included a treasure hunt and penny scramble for the kids, Tom Brenneman’s “Breakfast in Hollywood” show, and a quiz program featuring East Liverpool trivia.

Orchestra leader Bobby Byrne, best remembered for his romantic but forceful trombone style, presented a one-hour “top flight” musical revue, according to the souvenir program. Byrne long expressed an interest in flying and served as both a bandleader and a pilot during the war. He had only been discharged in 1945 and had been freelancing around the New York City area until forming a new orchestra in 1946.

Music and contests were the theme of the day at the First Post-War Tri-State Community Picnic with the top prize being a 1947 Four-Door Ford Sedan. The drawing was held at the entrance to Virginia Gardens. Even the souvenir program itself was numbered for a contest drawing. To end the evening, a queen was crowned at midnight. Valley Motor Transit had buses running between the park and the terminal at East Liverpool all day with the last bus departing after the dance at 1:00 AM. Advanced dance tickets were $2.50 and the cost at the door was an additional 25 cents.

Rock Springs Park had been closed during the war with the Hand Family only returning to the log house in the winter of 1946. Owner Bob Hand had just been released from the army, and reopened the park for the first time since the start of WWII that summer.

Click below and enjoy a great sampling of Bobby Byrne’s Orchestra.

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