Wellen Park hosts second annual Great American Picnic June 22

VENICE, Fla. (May 31, 2024) – Pie-baking and watermelon-eating contests, live music and kids’ carnival games celebrate summer during the second annual Great American Picnic at Wellen Park Saturday, June 22. The event, from 4 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Wellen, is free and open to the public.

The Great American Picnic recalls the nostalgia and traditions of an old-time country fair with contests, carnival games, family-friendly activities and a foam party. And no picnic is complete without great food – available throughout Downtown Wellen in an array of restaurants, as well as casual grab-and-go eateries in The Yard, where Pop Dawgs serves up gourmet hotdogs and ballpark fare, Claw & Co. offers lobster rolls and New England-style cuisine, and Lakeside Bites has paninis and snacks.

The pie bakeoff and the Venice Print Center-sponsored watermelon-eating contest, both offering youth and adult categories, begin at 4 p.m. Both contests require preregistration. To preregister for the pie bakeoff, visit Registration for the watermelon-eating contest will take place day of the event, prior to the contest beginning.

Whiskey County, a Nashville-style party band, will perform country and classic rock hits from 5 to 9 p.m. on Solis Hall’s outdoor stage facing the Great Lawn. The performance is sponsored by Lennar, a Wellen Park builder featured in three neighborhoods.

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets.

“The Great American Picnic is now Wellen Park tradition,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing for Wellen Park. “It attracts local and regional guests who love the low-key fun-filled family vibe.”

Visitors can also take advantage of all Downtown Wellen has to offer – paddling and fishing in the Grand Lake, hiking, biking and e-biking Wellen Park’s miles of trails and pathways, cooling off at the splashpad, relaxing or playing in nature-inspired settings, shopping and enjoying an augmented reality experience capturing downtown’s vibrant, playful spirit.

For more information about the Great American Picnic, visit


Event Schedule

4 p.m.              Pie bakeoff contest

4 p.m.              Watermelon-eating contest

4-6 p.m.           Kids foam party

4-8 p.m.           Kids carnival games

5-9 p.m.           Live music by Whiskey County


About Downtown Wellen

Downtown Wellen is the region’s newest social and gathering spot offering restaurants, boutiques, beauty services, and medical and professional offices. The downtown’s thoughtfully designed spaces create unique outdoor experiences – from intimate parks, a natural playground and a living room shaded by a decades-old relocated live oak tree to larger gathering spaces like the Great Lawn for community festivals, markets, celebrations and events, and the lakefront fountain and splashpad. Solis Hall, an elegant rental venue, features an outdoor stage, a lakefront patio and an easy flow from inside spaces to neighboring alfresco areas.

The pedestrian-friendly downtown emphasizes heartfelt connections to community and nature and celebrates a waterfront vibe with the 80-acre Grand Lake providing a scenic backdrop and opportunities for fishing and paddle sports. Visitors can enjoy time on the water and along downtown’s 3-mile lakefront trail with on-site bicycle, e-bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals at Kind Vibes Outfitters.

The Yard offers a playful outdoor environment with a dining area, games and activities, and ultra-casual food and beverage choices served counter style from retrofitted shipping containers.

Located at 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice, Downtown Wellen is directly accessed from Preto Boulevard and U.S. 41, just west of South River Road.

Learn more about Downtown Wellen and view a complete list of businesses at


About Wellen Park

Ranked among the U.S.’s top 10 selling master-planned communities in 2023 by prominent real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns, Wellen Park offers a mix of single-family and multifamily residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.

Wellen Park’s expanding residential choices include new-construction single-family homes in picturesque neighborhoods, a dynamic new lifestyle concept for active adults 55+, paired and attached villas, coach homes and condominiums for a low-maintenance lifestyle. Rental options in Wellen Park range from one- to three-bedroom luxury apartments and single-family homes to an apartment community for adults 55 and older, and world-class independent, assisted living and memory care.

Wellen Park is close to top-ranked Gulf of Mexico beaches and the area’s many attractions.

To learn more about Downtown Wellen and living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]


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