St Joe’s Picnic party goes virtual for the first time in 171 years


The St. Joseph’s House of Children Picnic is a tradition in Louisville that has remained a staple for 171 years, longer than the Kentucky Derby. Coordinators say it’s vital to keep fundraising traditions alive for the kids who live at the home. That’s why they’ve worked to make a seamless transition from an in-person picnic to a virtual experience in 2020.

St. Joseph's Picnic
The St. Joseph’s Picnic is an annual summer favorite on Louisville’s east side. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Due to COVID-19, all of the booths and normally in-person activities are going to computer screens.

“This morning I woke up, normally I’m getting up early to talk to media, get everything set up,” Christina Miller, the annual fundraising coordinator for St. Joe’s, said Friday. “It was really weird not getting up and immediately coming to campus.”

This year, the picnic kicks off with a virtual karaoke. However, some of the notable booths, like the cake booth, won’t be happening.

St. Joseph's Picnic
For the first time in its 171-year history, the popular St. Joseph’s Picnic is going virtual.

“Our most popular booth [cake booth], did a trivia night Wednesday,” Miller said. “They have already raised over $30,000, that’s all kudos to our community, sponsors, and everyone who bands together to throw their dollars for the kids.”

There’s a large sign near the front lawn at St. Joe’s where the picnic would normally take place. Miller reminds the community what the picnic is all about: raising money that will go back directly to the little ones who need it most.

“We’ve definitely have had to get creative with ways this year with how we can reach people in a meaningful way,” Miller said. “That’s the great thing about St. Joe’s Picnic, it’s the magic behind it, bringing everybody together to help the children who have survived significant trauma and we’re still seeing that happen.”

Saturday will be the last day to purchase raffle tickets. Click here to learn more about fundraising opportunities.

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