By Conrad Dudderar
For the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, a downtown Yukon church will host its traditional community feast – albeit seven weeks later than normal.
The 65th annual Ground Hog Dinner will be presented from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19 at the First United Methodist Church-Yukon, 400 Elm.
“The enthusiasm is great,” event coordinator Russell Kline said. “We are ready.
“This is our first time since January 2020 because of COVID.”
Yukon’s Ground Hog Dinner was canceled in 2021, and then was postponed from Jan. 29 this year due to an uptick in COVID cases.
The United Methodist Men’s Group, which plans and presents the epic feast, is moving full speed ahead as March 19 approaches.
“The last time we had the dinner, we ended up serving 1,437 meals,” Kline said. “We average around 1,250.
“We’ve had the same menu from the start – seasoned sausage kraut with Czech-style pork ribs, sausage patties, sausage gravy, new potatoes, biscuits, and apple butter.”
There will be coffee, tea and water to drink; and the Yukon Kids First will sell dessert and soft drinks.
The Ground Hog Dinner is an “all-church” activity for FUMC-Yukon.
“It takes about 125 people to stage, set up, prepare, cook, serve, and clean up,” Kline said. “Volunteers are a must.”
Food is served “family style” continuously throughout the day inside the church’s Christian Life Center. Hungry customers also may pick up meals to enjoy at home.
“We’re anticipating a lot more take-outs this year,” Kline said, citing some lingering COVID concerns. “We’re upgrading our take-out containers.”
The event – which started in 1956 to benefit the FUMC-Yukon’s building fund – supports local and worldwide missions and outreach.
“This is a fund-raiser targeting the metro area, not just our church members,” Kline noted.
Tickets are $9 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets for children 12 years and under are $4 each.
For more information, call the church office at (405) 354-8858.
Editor’s Note: This isn’t the first time that Yukon’s Ground Hog Dinner had to be postponed until March. Read more in an upcoming edition of The Yukon Progress.