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Verboort festival to celebrate 82nd year

NEWS-TIMES/HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Volunteer Dave Bartoo serves up sausage and sauerkraut at Verboort's famous festival, held the first Saturday in November every year.The Verboort community in the Willamette Valley was settled by the Rev. William Verboort and a group of Dutch Catholics all the way back in 1875. Today, the community is well known throughout the region for a delicious culinary celebration that happens every year.

Visitation Catholic Church will host its 82nd annual Sausage and Sauerkraut Community Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 5. Church officials and members invite everyone to celebrate 82 years of handmade sausage, sauerkraut and applesauce made by hundreds of community volunteers and generations of families that have lived in Verboort for over 150 years.

Every year, the small community of around 500 — located just north of Forest Grove and west of Hillsboro — works under giant Sequoia trees (the seedlings of which were brought from California during the gold rush of 1849 and planted in 1888) months before the festival even begins to produce the dinner’s staples. Sauerkraut made for the event takes about six weeks to ferment in 50-gallon buckets; apples are plucked from nearby orchards; and the sausage is ground and smoked using a family recipe passed down through the generations. Nearly all the food served is local and handmade.

The dinner includes sausage, sauerkraut, salad, applesauce, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls and lemon meringue or apple pie.

NEWS-TIMES/HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Bulk sausage buyers line up hours before sales start for their chance to take home their share of Verboort's famous sausage.When the tradition first kicked off in 1934, 198 pounds of sausage were served as part of 150 dinners. Now, around 8,000 pounds of sausage and 8,000 dinners are served in a single day.

The festival features a number of activities to indulge in, including a quilt raffle, a plant booth, crafts, Bingo, a bake sale, a country store and a beer garden.

The festival runs from from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 4825 N.W. Visitation Road. Bulk sausage ($6/pound) and sauerkraut ($3.50/quart) sales begin at 9 a.m. Dinner ticket sales begin at 11 a.m. Dinner can be picked up at a drive-through window or enjoyed in the dining hall. Cash and checks will be accepted and an ATM will be available on site.

Lines will be long — organizers suggest arriving one to two hours early.

For a full menu, price list and schedule, visit the event’s website at www.verboort.org/dinner.