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In Providence, autumn means it’s time to get your sauerkraut on

October 16th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Mitch Figgat

PROVIDENCE — Everyone can choose between turkey and hotdogs, but everyone came for the main dish, sauerkraut. The city of Providence will be hosting its 14th annual Sauerkraut Dinner and Bazaar Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5-8 p.m. The dinner will be held at the Springcreek Middle School, along with all the booth shopping and children’s games held beforehand.

“This is the event that wraps up all that we have done this year, this is our main event,” said City Councilman John Russell.

This year multiple local companies have come to sponsor the entire dinner and bazaar. These companies such as Rocky Mountain Power and USU Charter Credit Union come together with Providence city to create an experience that has over a hundred years of history, Russell said.

Some of the first settlers in the providence area were of German and Swiss descent. “They would get together and have a potluck dinner of sorts, and of course sauerkraut was something present,” he said.

After the turn of the 20th century, the two LDS wards that were in the area kept the tradition going by using a potluck dinner as an activity and a fundraiser. It had a different name back then, said Russell, the Sauerkraut and Turkey Dinner.

“It was a pretty big event in Cache Valley; they had up to 150 families from all over the valley participating and bringing sauerkraut dishes,” said Russell. Providence wanted to keep the tradition alive as the LDS wards moved on to different types of fundraising, so in 1997 the city officially took over the sauerkraut dinner.

“We want to make sure it is out there and available for everyone still,” said Russell.

This yearly event is no longer a fundraiser even for city funds; in fact the City Council will subsidize the final total bill along with the ten other major sponsors. “Because things are little bit more expensive we are allotting a $5,000 budget,” Russell said.

In the past it was permissible for anyone to bring their own recipe of sauerkraut to the dinner, just like in the potluck dinners more than 50 years ago. But because of food service restrictions the city must now contract out all the sauerkraut orders to a caterer. For the past few years the Iron Gate Grill has been taking care of the order.

“We have council members that know the different types of sauerkraut and how they taste, so they have gone out and made sure it is all done right,” said Russell.

Along with the dinner there will be booths set up by residents to sell their crafts; these are usually catered to the oncoming Christmas season. There will be games before the dinner for all the children present and after the dinner there will be free balloons.

The Youth Council is also incorporating the Sauerkraut Dinner into their food drive. They are encouraging all those who attend to bring cans of food to help with their food drive.

Tickets are being sold cheaper in advance but anyone can purchase tickets at the door for the regular price.


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