Public turns out for Hunterdale Ruritans’ BBQ
Published 11:41 am Friday, May 23, 2014
FRANKLIN—Everywhere you looked, people were having a good time at the Hunterdale Ruritan Club’s 51st annual Beef Barbecue. Alone, paired or in groups, the people who attended were enjoying the fellowship — complete with bands and beverages — and, of course, the food.
Taylor Williams, who was watching over the racks of beef as they were warmed over grills, estimated that 2,800 pounds were prepared. He got started at 9 a.m. to help cook the food, which is done in stages. The members who volunteered for cooking started taking the beef off the grills at 3 p.m. to slice and serve, starting at 4 p.m.
There’s not yet an exact number of guests, said Paul Phillips, who served as one of the co-chairs. Working with him were Murray Turner and Freddie Ashby. Frank Foster was the chairman. He was later recognized with a plaque for his outstanding service.
“We won’t know for five or six days. It was close to a sell-out. It was probably one of the larger crowds we’ve had in quite awhile,” Phillips said.
Pressed for a guess, he figured that 1,700 people attended. The event took place at the Bronco Rod and Hunt Club on the banks of the Nottoway River.
Phillips credited club president Robert White for the idea of having two bands — Hickory Knoll and Silver Street, which he thinks boosted ticket sales.
“It’ll be neat to hear the feedback,” said Phillips. “It was a very successful event for us.”
No matter the numbers, that success will be realized through the year as the club returns the barbecue profits back to the community.
“We do contribute to quite a bit of worthwhile organizations and several scholarships,” said Phillips.
“We have people in emergency-type needs. Or if there’s a catastrophe. Or someone’s who had a set-back, and we’ll have a meeting. If we can help them, we certainly will.”