The Harrison Township Historical Society’s annual Groundhog Day Dinner and Silent Auction is set for Saturday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Ewan Fire Hall, 312 Ewan Rd. This annual event features “Down Jersey” sausage links, sausage gravy and biscuits, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, candied yams, fried apples, green beans and a dessert buffet. Now in its 16th year, the event is a revival of a century-old Harrison Township tradition.
“The menu entrée is a play on words,” said Society President Bob Schumann. “We serve sausage – the ‘ground’ hog – to celebrate the holiday.”
The first local Groundhog Day dinners took place in the early 1900s. Local farmers belonging to the Richwood Men’s Bible Class made the sausage and prepared the dinner for the entire church.
“The Society’s Board decided to revive the tradition, years ago” added Schumann. “Not only are we preserving local culinary history, the dinner also helps fund the Society’s activities. It’s a unique local event.”
The dinner is a fun-filled evening for the entire family. In addition to the home cooked menu, the program includes an emcee decked out in tails and top hat, a popular silent auction and perhaps the only opportunity in South Jersey to sing Groundhog Day songs.
“The board found lyrics about Groundhog Day set to familiar tunes and thought they would be fun to include on the program,” said Society Trustee Chris Knisely. “Sixteen years later they’ve become a Groundhog Day Dinner tradition.”
Tickets for the event are $15 and available at Yellow Garage Antiques, 66 South Main St., open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Advance purchase is recommended since seating is limited,” added Schumann.
All proceeds benefit the Society’s exhibitions and educational programs at the Old Town Hall Museum, located at the intersection of S. Main Street and Woodstown Road. in the heart of the Mullica Hill Historic District.
Up to date information about the Groundhog Day Dinner and upcoming activities can be found at the Society’s website.