KIEL (NBC 26) — The Kiel Community Picnic is one of the town's most important events. Between generating money for fundraisers and being a place for the whole community to meet, it is a weekend that everyone looks forward to. This year, its busiest night was cut short by a bomb threat.
Kiel Police Chief Joe Jeanty said organizers were able to quickly clear the park and keep the public safe. But not before a fun-filled celebration turned dark for Al Schreiber, the picnic's event chair.
"We had to clear the park, so the band announced, 'Clear the park at this time,' and we had almost 1,200 people in the park including the tent and the midway," Schreiber said. "Within about ten minutes we did have the park evacuated."
Unfortunately, this is not Kiel's first experience with bomb threats, as multiple threats were made to the school and town a year ago.
"I'm not sure, I don't know why it's happening," Schreiber says.
The threat on Saturday night took business away from the picnic and the two charities that the event sponsors, the Kiel Lyons and Optimist clubs.
"It is also a fundraiser for our charities for the weekend, so the community is going to feel that a little bit through some of the profits that were lost," said Schreiber.
Schreiber says it was a big blow to miss out on Saturday night.
"Lost a little bit of profit, but it was more the mood that was disturbed," he explained. "Everyone comes out for a great community celebration and we were all together, and spirits were lifted and just like that it was kind of a big letdown."