Paradise Ward 3 High Priest's picnic... A “high priest” in the Mormon Church isn't what it sounds like to non-Mormon ears. The locals tell me that it's basically the older men in the ward, and in practical terms that's true: most of the local men over about 55 years old are high priests. But if you read the linked article above, you'll see that it's a bit more than that.
In our local wards (at least; it may well be a church-wide practice), the High Priests of each ward hold an annual picnic. Though we're not Mormons ourselves, we've been invited to four of these now. Sometimes it's just me who's invited, as the gathering is men-only. Sometimes the wives are invited, so we both go. Obviously the picnics are open to invited guest as well, because we got to go!
Homegrown Tomatoes. Debbie and I sang along, but we noticed that not too many other people were. :) After that, we had a reading of cowboy poetry – a funny poem about someone trying to tag a calf by pulling its head into the truck window. It didn't end well, but it was definitely funny. Then someone else read a short story, also a very funny one, about getting lost and survival. All of it was great good fun, with lots of good-natured ribbing and smiling involved. We got to see a few people we already knew, but a great many more that we'd never met before. Even though we're not LDS ourselves (and therefore not a member of a ward), most of our neighbors belong to ward 2 and many of the things we get involved with are ward 2 activities – so those are the people we're most likely to meet. That's a direct consequence of the concentration of LDS members here. Our closest non-Mormon neighbor is about a mile north of us – quite literally everyone else within about a mile radius of us is a member of the LDS church, including, of course, every single one of our neighbors.
It's a good thing for us that the Mormons are so accepting of non-members in their midst, as we're seriously outnumbered!