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In contemporary usage, a picnic can be defined simply as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors (al fresco or en plein air), ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theatre performance, and usually in summer. Descriptions of picnics show that the idea of a meal that was jointly contributed and was enjoyed out-of-doors were essential to a picnic from the early 19th century.[1]

Picnics are often family-oriented but can also be an intimate occasion between two people, or a large get-together such as company picnics and church picnics. It is also sometimes combined with a cookout, usually a form of barbecue; either grilling (griddling, gridironing, or charbroiling), braising (by combining a charbroil or gridiron grill with a broth-filled pot), baking, or a combination of all of the above.

On romantic and family picnics a picnic basket and a blanket (to sit or recline on) are usually brought along. Outdoor games or some other form of entertainment are common at large picnics.

Some picnics are a potluck, an entertainment at which each person contributed some dish to a common table for all to share. When the picnic is not also a cookout, the food eaten is rarely hot, instead taking the form of deli sandwiches, finger food, fresh fruit, salad, cold meats and accompanied by chilled wine or champagne or soft drinks.

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review by . May 18, 2010
Summertime, and the livin' is easy...........
Thus begins George Gershwin's venerable standard "Summertime".  One of the most popular activities for many of us during the summer months is going on a picnic.  What is so neat about a picnic is that it can be extremely enjoyable for a party of two or a throng of several hundred.  For many folks, summer just would not be summer without partaking in at least a few picnics.      Such a curious word is picnic.  The word …
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