LIMERICK PA – The fire pit behind the pavilion at St. James United Church of Christ on South Limerick Road was empty by mid-afternoon Saturday (Aug. 20, 2016). All the chicken barbecued there was ready to be served by 4 p.m., for a meal that was scheduled to run until 6.
But if you hadn’t bought a ticket beforehand, or weren’t lucky enough to get one of the few that remained for about 30 minutes afterward … well, you went hungry.
Hundreds of patrons found their chairs at tables under the pavilion and gobbled down a half-chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad and applesauce. “Happens almost every year,” one diner, who professed to be a regular, said. “They sell out. The meal’s great.”
So too, it seemed, were the company and the weather. Visitors could look in any direction and find lots of smiles, waves exchanged between friends, and animated conversation. The day’s earlier temperature felt as hot as the well-raked line of white coals in the abandoned fire pit (at top), but the humidity of the past week was gone and a slight breeze prevailed by suppertime.
Which meant that, after they were finished with their repast, diners could comfortably enjoy ice cream for dessert as well. Late-comers probably couldn’t get that without a ticket either. Sigh.
The dinner, and the bake sale that accompanied it, is St. James’ biggest fund-raiser of the year. Its proceeds this year benefited Main Street Ministries, Orion, and the church maintenance reserve fund.