City council members and other Prosper employees had an opportunity to help serve their residents at the city’s annual picnic held at Frontier Park on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The atmosphere was extremely family and kid-friendly, featuring entertainment options such as bouncy houses, horseback riding and video games, amongst other activities. Free food was also handed out throughout the afternoon under the pavilion. Among those handing it out was Prosper Mayor Ray Smith.

“It’s great to come out here,” Smith said. “We’re trying to have multiple events a year. They get the community to interact.”

The event provided some city officials their first chance to serve the community, including Parks and Recreation Director Dudley Raymond.

“There’s just a great community spirit here in Prosper,” Raymond said. “It starts with events like this. It’s just good to see people come together and create a small-town feel.”

The picnic was designed to help members of the community meet each other and come together. Other events will do the same later this year, including the annual Christmas Festival held in December.

This year, non-profit organizations were invited to the picnic in hopes of creating connections with members of the community. Among those present were multiple churches, including the Heart Fellowship Church.

“It gives us an opportunity to get outside of our walls,” Heart Fellowship pastor Cedric White said. “We are looking to work more in the community.”

Heart Fellowship has recently collaborated with the City of Prosper to form an “Adopt a Cop” program, which allows families to interact with local police officers in their homes and schools to create healthy, trustworthy relationships.

Other organizations in attendance included the One Community Church and Life Journey Church, which hosted its grand opening on Sunday, Sept. 10.

The picnic also allowed Bethlehem Place, Prosper’s food pantry, to take donations. Executive director Betsy Winters said the event provided a great chance to help those in need, including recent Houston evacuees now living in Prosper.

“Our shelves tend to get really bare at the end of summer,” Winters said. “We count on this picnic to fill our shelves up, and it usually keeps us stocked until the end of March.”

Prosper’s next city event will be the Annual Mayor’s Luncheon for Active Adults on Oct. 11.