121st Annual Seminary Picnic in Perryville makes comeback post COVID-19

PERRYVILLE, Mo (KBSI) – The Seminary Picnic in Perryville kicked off Friday night with homemade ice cream, corndogs, and funnel cakes, and the fun just doesn’t stop there. The picnic is also known for it’s carousel which was built in the early 1900s.

The picnic is now celebrating its 121st year. The past few years have been challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them to shut down completely in 2020. Last year, the picnic returned, but with precautions in place.

“They took some pre-cautions, you know, installing screens, so people wouldn’t breathe on each other as they’re getting their food,” said Fr. Joe Geders, pastor for the St. Vincent De Paul Parish.

All donations and money made from the picnic goes to help Catholic schools in the Perryville area. Last year the event was the center of an epic celebration for the 200th Bicentennial celebration of Perry County.

“And Chris Jansen was here,” said Fr. Joe Geders proclaimed. Perryville is the proud home of the Grand Ole Opry country singer, who performed last year at the picnic.

The event is best known for its homemade ice cream, but also for having a unique attraction.

“This is a very historic carousel,” said Fr. Geders. “It’s a Herschell-Spillmen carousel. And it’s a different kind of carousel, not only because it was built around 1905 but if you look at it, most carousels have horses on poles that go up and down, these horses rock back and forth, because it’s called a track carousel.”

 In addition to the historic carousel, there’s also bingo, which allows participants the chance to win a hand sewn quilt put together by the parish society women.

“It was simply an opportunity for the parish to gather, to socialize, to dance, to have fun, to be entertained, and it has remained that for all 121 years,” said Fr. Geders.

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