For the 72nd year, Verboort will trot out its sausage and sauerkraut dinner to benefit Visitation School
For seven decades, the folks in Verboort have made and sold tons and tons of sausage.
They've toiled over hot griddles and gotten dishpan hands cleaning up after the annual extravaganza that brings between 6,000 and 8,000 people into the tiny community the first Saturday of November.
It's the Verboort Sausage and Kraut Dinner, and this year's 72nd emanation happens this Saturday, Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
That's nine consecutive hours of socializing, eating and enjoying activities like bingo playing and beer drinking - all for the benefit of the community's beloved school.
If it isn't the beef-and-pork sausage - made from a secret recipe - that grabs people, it could be the tradition itself.
'It brings the parish and the school community together,' said Rhonda Bellinger, a Verboort resident who's been involved in both for the last 12 years.
Last Saturday, men and women in white aprons and rubber gloves wrapped bulk sausage for hours on end.
This Saturday, 700 volunteers will be buzzing around preparing, selling, eating and smiling. Bellinger will be in the ticket booth, answering the prayers of people clamoring for a steaming plate of sausage and sauerkraut.
It's a treat to see people support the school year after year, she said.
'It's just a great community event,' Bellinger noted. 'We have wonderful, loyal people who come to this year after year.'
A tradition with roots that dig deeply into the farming community just outside Forest Grove, the dinner is put on by people who've been part of it nearly all their lives.
They revel in attracting guests from out-of-town, but it's the tightly knit group of church and school supporters that gives the event its punch.
'We're a very close bunch of folks,' Bellinger said.
In addition to the dinner, held at Visitation Church on Verboort Road, attendees can browse the country store, look for holiday gifts at the bazaar, buy extra goodies at the bake sale or try their luck at the quilt raffle.
Dinner this year costs $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and $7 for children 12 and under. Meals for kids five and under are free.
The menu includes all-you-can-eat sausage and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, rolls, salad, applesauce, pie, coffee and milk. Packaged sausage can be purchased for $4.50 a pound, and kraut sales begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Drive-through dinners-to-go will also be available. For details, visit www.verboort.org/dinner, or call Visitation School at 503-357-6900.