Yukon Ground Hog Dinner returns to serve

Back on ‘regular calendar time’, FUMC event coordinator says

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Yukon's First United Methodist Church youth group members make dishwashing fun during the March 2022 Ground Hog Dinner: From left, Chloe Cromwell, Audrey Boyd, Ruby Barker, and Evann Boyd. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A traditional Yukon community feast will return in a couple weeks – at a familiar time and place.

The 66th Annual Ground Hog Dinner will be devoured Saturday, Jan. 28 inside Yukon’s First United Methodist Church at Fourth and Elm. Meals will be served “family style” from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Christian Life Center.

Russell Kline, coordinator of the Ground Hog Dinner at the First United Methodist Church-Yukon.

“We’re glad to be back at our regular calendar time on the Saturday before Ground Hog Day (Feb. 2),” said Russell Kline, event coordinator for the Methodist Men’s group.

“Last year, we moved the dinner to March because there had been a spike in COVID-19 cases in January. That change was made due to circumstances – and we learned a lesson.”

Yukon’s United Methodist Men saw attendance drop at the 2022 Ground Hog Dinner, which was presented around spring break activities after a six-week postponement.

“Last March was loaded with community events and we had less than 1,000 people at our dinner,” Kline said.

Typically, attendance at Yukon’s epic Ground Hog feed is between 1,250-1,500.

“Last year was only the second time we had to change the date until after Ground Hog Day,” Kline explained. “We also had to postpone it one year when a massive ice storm knocked out power across the community. We didn’t have electricity at the church.”

Yukon’s “all-you-can-eat” Ground Hog Dinner menu will be the same as it’s been since the event’s inception: Czech-style sauerkraut and ribs, new potatoes, sausage patties, biscuits, gravy, and apple butter; with coffee, tea and water to drink.

Yukon’s Kids First children will return this time to sell desserts for $1 and soft drinks for 50 cents.

Tom and Sue Kassik get ready to dig in for a delicious feast at the 2022 Ground Hog Dinner hosted by the First United Methodist Church-Yukon. The 66th annual dinner will be “back” Jan. 28 – the Saturday before Ground Hog Day – after being moved to March last year. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
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PROCEEDS SUPPORT MISSIONS, OUTREACH

Proceeds from Yukon’s 66th Annual Ground Hog Dinner will support local and worldwide missions and outreach.

Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Adult tickets are $15 at the door.

To help with seating, groups of six or more diners are asked to call in advance with an estimated arrival time.

“We’re concerned about this latest COVID variant, but still want people to be there Jan. 28. Our visitors and volunteers are invited to wear a mask if they want.”

For tickets or more information, call the FUMC Yukon office at (405) 354-8858 or Kline at (405) 740-3351.

Read more in an upcoming edition about the estimated 125 volunteers who present Yukon’s annual Ground Hog Dinner – and the programs this community event supports.

First United Methodist Church-Yukon member Jason Long mans the mobile drink cart during Yukon’s last Ground Hog Dinner in March 2022. Attendance dipped below 1,000 after the Methodist Men’s group postponed the community feast six weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
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