One can only imagine early Riverside. A place lush with green and a simpler way of life, no technology. Coming out to Riverside was like going out to the country to spend a pleasant family day, picnicking and enjoying family life. 

In an effort to celebrate the village’s early days as a resort area, the Riverside Landscape Advisory Commission has planned a “Picnic Like It’s 1869” event on Sunday, Sept. 19 from noon to 3 p.m. on the bluff overlooking Swan Pond Park west of the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road.

You’re invited to bring the family, some blankets and a picnic basket and stake out a spot along the bluff. There will be no food sold and alcohol will not be allowed. Try to imagine what might have been in the picnic basket in 1869.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m. flautist Toria Burrell-Hrencecin will perform at the top of the sledding hill, followed at 1 p.m. by the Riverside Suzuki Strings, under the direction of Kristine Boike.

Children Services librarians from Riverside Public Library at 1:30 p.m. will lead a nature-themed storytime at the outdoor reading circle, and at 2 p.m. docents will lead a tour of the Guthrie Park Arboretum.

In addition, local historians will display 1869-era picnic artifacts and there will be a children’s nature craft station throughout the event.

In the event of rain, there is no rain date, so hope for good weather and relive an early time of our village.

Happy 40th: There was plenty of activity at Riverside Foods on Sunday, Sept. 12 when the store celebrated 40 years of business in Riverside. Co-owner Peter Boutsikakis put together the thank you to his customers who have helped keep the store vital and an important part of the community. Specials will continue throughout the week. 

And if you would like to show your appreciation for Boutsikakis, honor him by your presence at the Riverside Golf Club on Sept. 23, when he will receive his 2020 Person of the Year Award. Tickets are available at the Riverside Library, Riverside Bank and Aunt Diana’s.

Our village has been fortunate to always have had a grocery store of some type in the central business district from national chains like Jewel to independents like Riverside Foods and Jansky’s, run for many years on East Burlington Street by Bill Jansky. Many of the services once provided by Jansky are now being provided by Riverside Foods.