Biscuits And Bingo

City Parks And Rec Draws Monthly Crowd To Eatery

Posted: July 31, 2014

Betty Robinson of Harrisonburg (left) plays bingo with her bingo pal Sharon Shenk of Harrisonburg while at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday morning. The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department organizes the monthly activity. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)
Chick-fil-A employee Ellie Enterline pulls numbers during bingo at the fast food restaurant Wednesday morning. More than 50 people gather at the East Market Street restaurant each month to win prizes.
Glenna Simmons of Rockingham County concentrates while playing bingo at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday morning.

HARRISONBURG — A few minutes before 9 a.m., the dining area of the Harrisonburg Chick-fil-A is buzzing.

All of the main dining room tables and booths are filled to capacity and more than 50 people are laughing, refilling their coffee and preparing their tables.

Some people like their bingo cards to lie flat.

Some prefer to use wooden blocks to boost them up.

Some players set their cards side by side.

Others prefer to stack them on top of each other on the table.

It’s player’s choice around here.

As the clock ticks closer to 9 a.m., the chatter quiets down and the mood in the room gets a little more serious.

This is Biscuits and Bingo, a monthly 50-and-older social activity organized by the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation department and sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

It’s held the last Wednesday of each month from 9 to 10 a.m. at the restaurant on East Market Street.

In its seventh year, the gathering started out slow with about 10 players in a far corner of the restaurant every week, but quickly gained in popularity in its second year.

“To say it’s grown is an understatement,” said Alana Mazurowski, a marketing director for the restaurant. “We had to change it to once a month because the restaurant got too full to handle it weekly.”

Mazurowksi, 22, said it takes an early bird to get prime seating each month.

“The booths go pretty quickly. They’re filled right around 8 a.m.,” she said. “Many of the families who play here always sit in the same seat, too.”

Prizes are up for grabs with each game.

They range from food gift certificates to small trinkets like reusable shopping bags and Sudoku puzzle books.

There are 11 games offered each month, ranging from straight bingo to four corners and blackout.

That’s 11 chances to win free food or a foam basketball from Sentara RMH Medical Center.

Wednesday was Betty George’s lucky day.

The Harrisonburg resident won the first game of the morning with straight bingo and picked out a small, decorative notepad from the prize table.

A few games later, George, 61, won a second time. This time, she nabbed a box of candy.

George’s 5-month-old granddaughter Reagan Jane sat in an infant seat next to her during the morning, cat napping as the games rolled on.

“I’m so blessed to get to come play bingo with my friends and have my granddaughter here with me,” George said as she replaced the baby’s pacifier. “She’s been so happy all morning, just listening to the numbers being called and the people chitchatting. She’s enjoying it as much as I am.”

The next Biscuits and Bingo will be Aug. 27. For more information, call 433-9168.

Contact Megan Applegate at 574-6286 or mapplegate@dnronline.com



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