It was a rainy day in Saint John but there were still smiles at the Women's Auxiliary of the Black Community's annual picnic in Saint John on Saturday.
The group is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its beloved get-together at Rockwood Park.
Community members say the energy was high after the picnic was put on hold for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Naomi Drummond Leslie, the group's secretary, said the picnic started in the late sixties by her grandparents. A new generation is keeping it going.
"Several of the daughters of original members came together and decided that we needed to bring it back," she said
The event features a barbecue, games for kids and dancing.
"We have several tents and it doesn't matter who it is, you're coming in and you're going to get fed, you're going to get a drink, you're going to get a story, you're going to get a hug and a laugh," Drummond Leslie said.
"It really and truly is just a giant family."
Dozens of people made their way to the park despite the weather.
In the past, close to 150 people gathered each year at the picnic in the spirit of community.
"I was very fortunate that I grew up in a very connected Black community," Drummond Leslie said. "Aunt and uncles, cousins, [it] didn't matter if they were blood [relatives] or not. We all were under this umbrella of caring and looking out for each other."
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.