South Snohomish County Old Settlers Picnic again canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

A group gathers at a past Old Settlers Picnic. (Photo courtesy Chris Deiner-Karr)

For the second straight year, the 122-year-old South Snohomish County Old Settlers Picnic that draws many families to Edmonds City Park, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Picnic organizer Chris Deiner-Karr said she decided to cancel the event first held in 1899 mainly because those who would be traveling — many of whom are seniors — “are coming from states with a growing COVID-19 Delta variant and the risk associated with this.”

“This breaks my heart to not see this happen after all these years, but I worry for their safety,” Deiner-Karr said.

The picnic was also canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Local historian Betty Lou Gaeng noted that the first gathering of the old settlers took place in Cedar Valley (now a part of Lynnwood) at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Burleson on the first Thursday of August 1899. The occasion was to celebrate the 34th birthday of Mrs. Burleson, the former Della Bartholomew. “Everyone who attended had such a good time; it was decided to gather each year to celebrate living in South Snohomish County,” Gaeng wrote. The picnic was held at Martha Lake and then at Hall Lake, but when the Eisen’s family resort at Hall Lake was sold in 1944, Edmonds City Park became home for the picnic in 1945.

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