HPOU Family Picnic tickets are in high demand but The supply is UNLIMITED! Remember, they are FREE

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Usually when there’s a big football game or a super big event involving a celebrity singer and his guitar the tickets are hard to come by, even from scalpers.

Then you hear that the scalpers’ prices have gone through the sky.

Well, the demand for the tickets to this year’s HPOU Family Picnic, the Union’s most popular family event of the year, is higher than ever.

The good news is – and always will be – that plenty of tickets are available. There are no scalpers allowed! Tickets are free!

“The advance ticket demand is far ahead of last year’s numbers,” Dan Levine, picnic coordinator, told the Badge & Gun. “None of these tickets are for sale! And there’s no one-to-a-customer limit.”

Levine laughed out loud.

You have plenty of time to plan ahead to take your family to the Nov. 9 all-day-Saturday extravaganza.

The HPOU’s Lisa Marino said at least 600 people have already announced their plans to attend. They have picked up their tickets at the Union or said they plan to do so real soon.

All you have to do is contact Lisa on the 3rd floor of HPOU, or stop by the front desk. Or you can bug any of the HPOU board members and they will set you straight.

Meanwhile, Levine is ironing out the details necessary to make this year’s picnic the best ever. He said that chore is made easy by the great working relationship with the people at the Oil Ranch, the picnic venue for the second straight year.

Again, the time, date and place: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Oil Ranch in Hockley off Highway 290.

Door prizes will be available for the kids and a special raffle will be held toward the end of the day.

Get your tickets now. The Union needs to distribute them as demanded in order to get an accurate estimate for food planning purposes.

Each year coordinator Sgt. Danny Levine tells the Badge & Gun “This year’s will be the best ever.” We believe him!

Levine said Union members and their families will have the entire 50-acre facility available throughout the entire day, beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting until 8 p.m. Free food and drinks will be provided throughout the day (adults will be charged for alcoholic beverages). In addition, the concession stand will provide sno-cones and popcorn in an endless supply.

Try these activities on for size in this exciting rural atmosphere:

  • A petting zoo
  • A lake for fishing (bring your pole and bait)
  • A softball field (bring your mitts; bats and balls provided)
  • A volleyball court (balls supplied)
  • A basketball court (balls supplied)
  • A soccer field (balls supplied)
  • A train that goes a mile around the lake.
  • A hayride that goes out to the pasture (watch out for the cows!)
  • A miniature golf course
  • An inflatable jumping pillow (the Kid Hopper)
  • An Indian village with authentic hand-painted teepees
  • A hand-led pony ride
  • A lesson in milking a cow
  • A number of small playgrounds for the smaller kids
  • A special selection of farm animals inside the barn
  • A group of historic displays spotlighting the history of Texas under six flags
  • A horseshoe pit (actually more than one, all conveniently located)

Everything is outdoors. But this business that’s been in operation for 42 years has thought of everything, including indoor facilities in case of rain. On site are five large pavilions, the two larger ones each seating up to 600 people.

Oil Ranch spokeswoman Jackye Roberts easily predicted everyone will have tons of fun, saying, “The only things we don’t supply are baseball gloves. All activities are outdoors – it’s a true Texas experience. You don’t have to bring anything. We have pretty much everything you need.”

This family business has grown in stature since it opened in 1976. The train was acquired from Coney Island in New York. Other exhibits were designed to be as authentic as possible to enhance the education and pleasure of all visitors.

Levine pointed out that a retired HPD officer will serve as a disc jockey throughout the day.

He and Ms. Roberts also stressed that the new HPOU picnic venue is easy to get to – off Highway 290 and the Hegar exit. For GPS purposes, Roberts said the address is 23501 Macedonia Road.

Levine said bus transportation from the HPOU at 1600 State Street will be provided every hour on the hour beginning at 10 a.m. on event day. A shuttle will be available back and forth from Oil Ranch to the Union throughout the day and evening.

Planning for this year’s new location fell upon Levine and other Picnic Committee members: Tom Hayes, Luis Menendez-Sierra, Rob Sandoval, David Riggs, Christian Dorton and Alex Mayo.