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Thomaston hosts annual barbecue

THOMASTON — About 750 people turned out for some good home-cooked barbecue Saturday, as the Town of Thomaston and the Thomaston Volunteer Fire Department hosted its annual “Good Ole BBQ” and the town’s lunchroom building.

The building was filled to capacity for hours, with a line of people going out the door waiting for a chance to sit down and enjoy the meal.

Aside from the 750 in attendance, the barbecue also sold 200 carry-out plates. At $8.50 per dinner plate and the barbecue pork going for $7 a pound, the annual fund-raiser pulled in more than $7,000 before expenses.

For a menu fit to feed almost 1,000 people, it takes a lot of cooks and a lot of preparation.

“We started out four weeks ago with the sauce,” said Thomaston mayor Jeff Laduron. “Yesterday, we had people here peeling about 400 pounds of potatoes to make the potato salad. Starting at about 5:30 this morning, a couple of ladies came in here to fix the potato salad while we were at the pit cutting up the meat.

“We put 15 hogs on the pit yesterday morning around 8:30 or 9, and they cooked all night. We took them off this morning, and 19 men showed up and helped us cut it up and pull it off the bone. We hauled it over to the fire station next door and put the sauce on it. We packaged up a bunch to sell by the pound. We also fry up the skins.”

Laduron said the turnout was the largest in several years.

“The fire department started this fund-raiser up in 1979, when I was the fire chief,” he said. “Now, we kind of do this together with the town. When you walk in and see these people who live here and some who don’t live here working to help us, you just swell up with pride. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work.”

Several workers could be seen rushing back and forth in the kitchen and waiting tables, setting up place settings and making sure the customers had everything they needed. Among those workers were Pete Hall, Caroline Finley, Clarice Etheredge, Vanessa Pruett, Sandra Guy and Randall Mims.

Much has been said about the “pork” spending projects in spending bills in the U.S. Congress, but for the Town of Thomaston, pork is a welcome boon to its annual budget.