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Jefferson readies pit for Saturday barbecue

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The annual tradition, the Jefferson Community Club’s annual barbecue will be Saturday.

Jefferson Community Club will host its annual barbecue on Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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 $9. The flexible schedule, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., allows guests plenty of time to dine in.

For those who are unable to dine in, take-out plates are available, as well as pounds of barbecue. Those wanting to purchase pounds of barbecue can pick it up beginning at 9 a.m. The club will also sell event T-shirts on Saturday.

“We’ve been doing this so long, everybody seems to know their jobs, but we still work pretty hard the couple of months leading up to it to get ready for the big day,” said David Compton, 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 one of 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 a unique one, and we built it just for this annual event,” Compton explained. “We cook the meat all day and night over hickory coals on a concrete pit that we 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, has put a damper on the event in years past, it doesn’t stop the show.

“The Jefferson Barbecue happens rain or shine,” Compton said. “We’ve seen years when it was cold and windy, and years when we had to run the A/C on high, but we’re ready, no matter what.”

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 the homemade cake or Douglas Peteet’s unique sauce, it’s a good time and good food.

Peteet, still regarded as the chief sauce cook, has passed his recipe and technique on to the next generation, so it’s a time-tested delicacy by now.

“We really look forward to this weekend,” Compton said. “It’s a lot of work, and we’re all exhausted by the end of the day, but we love it because we get to see people that we haven’t seen since this time last year, and we really enjoy working together as a community. And we like our barbecue, too!”

In Jefferson, they’ve been making barbecue, good barbecue, for as long as most folks can remember, so the technique and recipes are fine-tuned. It goes without saying that the ladies have perfected their potato salad and cake recipes, too.

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