Jefferson Community Club preparing for annual barbecue

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jefferson Community Club will host its annual barbecue on Saturday, April 19.

More than 40 years old, the event is the community club’s primary fundraiser for community service projects.

Friends and neighbors have come to enjoy the springtime tradition and the delicious meal.

Guests can dine in and enjoy pit-cooked barbecue with sides of homemade potato salad, bread, pickles, homemade cakes and tea for $8.

The flexible schedule, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., will allow guests to have lunch or supper. For those who are unable to dine in, take-out plates are available, as well as pounds of barbecue.

“We’re working hard to get ready for the big day,” said Tony Luker, president of the club this year.

“This is the event of the season for us, so we like to make sure we do everything we can to make sure people have a good meal and a good time catching up with old friends.”

Established in 1953, Jefferson Community Club is the last remaining club of its type.

In its early days, the club competed against other community clubs in the areas of farming, land management, community service, crafts, cooking and more. Now, the club centers its focus on fellowship and community service projects.

Past barbecues have funded maintenance at the historic clubhouse, like the addition of a handicap accessible deck, a second dining room, renovations and the facility necessary for this cooking.

“Our barbecue pit is the shining star of the event,” Luker said.

“We cook the meat all day and night over hickory coals on a concrete pit that was built more than 30 years ago. Thanks to funds raised by the barbecue each year, we’re able to maintain the pit and keep a roof over it to protect it from the elements.”

Although the elements, rain in particular, have put a damper on the event in years past, it doesn’t stop the show.

“The Jefferson Barbecue happens rain or shine,” Luker said.

“There have been years when it was cold and windy, and years when we bumped down the A/C, but we’re ready, come what may.”

Jefferson’s annual barbecue is the event of the season for more than just the club members.

Many out-of-towners mark their calendar each year for the Jefferson Barbecue in order to carry on what’s been a family tradition for them for years.

Whether it’s Patsy Rogers’ and Lucretia Norris’s caramel cake or Douglas Peteet’s unique sauce, it’s a good time and good food.

“That’s what we want, for people to enjoy their visit and enjoy our barbecue,” Luker said.

“I’ve only been here for a few years, but these folks have been making barbecue, good barbecue, for longer than I’ve been alive, so they’ve perfected their technique and recipes. And the ladies have perfected their potato salad and cake recipes, for sure.”

For more information on the Jefferson Barbecue, visit the Club online at www.facebook.com/jeffersoncommunityclub.