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International Picnic Day, coming up Friday, likely would go unnoticed by most. But not Donna Guthrie. She and her husband, Mike, are ardent picnickers.

They recently completed a four-year goal of picnicking in all 42 Colorado state parks, an effort they even titled: “A Picnic in the Park Project (2017-2021).” To celebrate, they had planned a big party.

“But COVID changed all that,” Donna wrote in an email.

Instead, they came up with “Plan B,” she said — “a photographic project highlighting 75 family picnic places from Jan. 15 to Dec. 15, 2021.”

They sent picnic tote bags to family and friends in the U.S., United Kingdom and Mexico in January with a list of instructions and some challenges. They were to choose the place, invite as many family members as they could and bring as many pets as possible.

“We told them they could picnic in a state park, a national park, in the mountains, by the ocean, on their front porch or in their backyard,” she wrote. “We asked them to take a photo with the lunch tote someplace in the picture and send it to us by the middle of December.”

As a reminder to not forget about the project, she sent each family a recipe monthly.

In early 2022, the couple will award prizes in four categories: the most unusual place to have a picnic; the most family members in a photo; the most creative picnic with most unusual picnic foods, decorations and costumes; and the location farthest from Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs.

The effort has paid off.

“So far, the response has been very positive,” she said. “We’ve received photos from Florida, Hawaii, Morocco and Senegal, with more photos to come.”

The Guthries have taken their idea to the next level and have arranged for a showing of the photos at an art gallery in June 2022 — just in time for the next International Picnic Day. The show will be titled “The Art of the Picnic.”

Donna sent us one of her favorite healthy picnic recipes, Salad in a Jar. Consider this our reminder to you to get into the picnicking spirit. Gather some friends, family members or simply a basket and a book, and go enjoy a meal in a park.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

This content was originally published here.