Fredonia Barbecue tradition returning again

Published 10:30 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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FREDONIA — The Fredonia Barbecue, a long-time tradition in Chambers County, will be making a comeback this year. After a four-year hiatus, it will resume on its traditional calendar date of the first Saturday after Easter. That will be Saturday, April 6 this year.

The Fredonia Barbecue is a fundraiser that helps with the needed upkeep of the historic Fredonia Community Clubhouse, which dates to 1919.

As the year 2020 rolled around, members of the Fredonia Community Club were looking forward to the annual barbecue that was to have taken place that year. It had taken place 69 years in a row and the one in 2020 would have marked the 70th anniversary for this popular event. 

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Covid-19 intervened, postponing it that year. The Covid pandemic also marked a period of relative inactivity for the community club. Meetings have taken place since then but on a much smaller scale. There’s an effort this year to get back to those pre-Covid days, and members of the community club are trying to get the word out about resuming the barbecue.

What’s today the community clubhouse was once a community school. It today serves as the Fredonia Town Hall. Meetings of the Fredonia Town Council take place there along with meetings of the community club. 

The barbecue that’s prepared on that first Saturday after Easter is also widely known as something Fredonia is locally famous for. Preparations are being made for people near and far to enjoy it once again. The big barbecue pit behind the clubhouse was cleared out on Wednesday of this week. Community Club Treasurer Ray Gilbert took care of that chore with the aid of a John Deere tractor and some trustees from the Chambers County Jail. Judy Collins was hard at work cleaning out the kitchen and Community Club President Faye Green and Chris Frickert were putting up banners promoting the barbecue.

The clubhouse is located at 6100 Chambers County Road 222, about one block north of the intersection with CR 267.

Homemade Brunswick stew and pit-cooked barbecue will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. EDT on April 6. Ticket holders may dine in — all you can eat! — or you can get separate plates to go.

Tickets are $15 each. On-site parking is free. It’s a good idea to get your tickets in advance. The event is almost always a complete sell out, and no tickets will be available at the door. Tickets will be on sale at Antiques and Uniques and at the Powder Keg gun shop, both in downtown Fredonia, and at Belcher’s Jewelry. located across from Kroger in Lanett. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (334) 499-2338.

“We are looking forward to once again seeing people we used to see at the Fredonia Barbecue,” said Community Club President Faye Green. “We are putting on the barbecue again following four years of Covid and its aftermath. We are so excited to bring back our annual barbecue. We are looking forward to hosting many people we’ve seen before and welcoming those who are coming for the first time. Families who have attended over the years include several generations.”

“As in past years,” Green continued, “all proceeds will go toward the upkeep and preservation of our historic 1919 Community House, which was originally a school, then our community clubhouse and now our Fredonia Town Hall and an event center that’s rentable for private events such as weddings and reunions. Please get your tickets now to make sure you’re with us on that special Saturday after Easter.”

Fredonia is the oldest town in Chambers County, having been founded in 1832 and incorporated in 1853.