The annual fundraiser for West Hartford’s Westmoor Park has a different format this year, but will still feature farm fresh produce prepared by Doro Restaurant Group.
By Ronni Newton
Supporters of Westmoor Park will still be able to enjoy a four-course meal featuring local produce, prepared by Chef Dorjan Puka and the staff of DORO Restaurant Group, but Westmoor Park’s annual fundraiser has been somewhat transformed this year due to COVID-19.
“We have two options,” said Helen Rubino-Turco, director of West Hartford’s Leisure Services and Social Services Department.
This year’s fundraiser is being billed as “Two Events. One Night.” Supporters can choose to attend “Picnic on the Farm” – a socially distanced dinner under the stars at Westmoor Park, or they can participate in “Picnic at Home,” and enjoy the very same gourmet picnic meal in the comfort of their own backyard while still supporting the park.
“It will be the same dinner, just packaged differently,” Rubino-Turco said.
There are limited spaces for dining at the farm, in order to comply with COVID-19 event guidelines for the size of gatherings which is capped at 100, and need to maintain physical distancing. Dining will be al fresco – literally under the stars because there will not be any tents this year – while seated with their companions on hay bales rather than at long communal tables.
“It will be very informal farm seating,” said Rubino-Turco.
Patrons are welcome to BYOB (wine or beer) – as well as BYOC (bring your own chair).
Through the take-home option, everyone can participate in this fun and unique activity.
Picnic on the Farm will be held on Friday, Sept. 25 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Westmoor Park, 119 Flagg Rd., West Hartford. The cost is $100 per person for onsite dining. Take-home picnic baskets, which contain enough food to serve two, are $150 each and are packaged similarly to DORO’s other popular take-out offerings such as “Zo-to-Go,” Rubino-Turco said. The meal will highlight dishes from Treva, Ávert, Zohara and the new DORO Marketplace.
Bread has been donated by Hartford Baking Company.
All proceeds from Picnic on the Farm will go to the Westmoor Park fund to support the improvement of the facility and environmental education initiatives.
This is the eighth annual Westmoor Park fundraiser, and recent events have been to support the creation of an outdoor classroom, among other needs. “Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Brigid Curtin at Westmoor Park, and other donors, we raised all the money for the outdoor classroom in one year,” Rubino-Turco said.
The outdoor classroom was dedicated on Aug. 3, and is already in use for camp programs. The structure will be used for serving the picnic, as well as for pick-up of picnic boxes on Sept. 25.
Tickets can be purchased online through the Leisure Services RecDesk program.
To register, patrons first need to establish a family household, then search for “Picnic” under Programs.
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