Saturday, June 28, 2014
2014 CHIN Picnic crowns its bikini winners in Toronto
Her favourite part was the Miss CHIN bikini pageant, the picnic’s trademark event.
And now, at the not-so-tender age of 39, Donna took to the stage Saturday afternoon as one of 22 female pageant contestants for this year’s CHIN Picnic, a multicultural outdoor festival now in its 48th year.
“My family, when we came to Canada we always used to go to CHIN, and when they started doing the bikini pageants, I was always the person sitting in the audience and I was cheering everybody on and I thought, you know what, why not be a good example for women, especially from where I come from,” said Donna, who comes from a family of moderate Muslims.
When asked why it took her until now to slip into a bikini and flaunt her bod in front of a large, CHIN Picnic crowd, the self-employed event planner said she wanted to wait until her parents and siblings were comfortable enough with the idea.
“I wanted to be sure that my family was OK with it first, and they really were, I just didn’t have the courage to ask ... My family, they are very open minded and they gave me their blessing.”
This year’s picnic is being held at Exhibition Place and featured a Mr. CHIN competition, as well.
Lenny Lombardi took over running the CHIN Picnic — the Toronto Sun is one of the sponsors of the annual Canada event — after his father, broadcaster and CHIN creator Johnny Lombardi, died in 2002.
“The picnic, when it was first initiated back in 1966 ... it was a celebration of (my dad) getting his first license as a multicultural broadcaster,” said Lombardi. “Over the years, CHIN radio has evolved in serving so many more cultural groups ... We’ve evolved in serving the needs of newly emerging communities.”
Lombardi went on to say that the memory of his father lives on through the picnic.
“My dad had a tremendous passion for this picnic because it really was a reflection of his dream,” said Lombardi.
The CHIN Picnic continues Sunday at Bandshell Park and Exhibition Place on Sunday and again on Tuesday, Canada Day. from noon to 11 p.m. Admission is free.
Events and schedules can be found at scotiabankchinpicnic.com
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