SHABBONA – In 1893, the Shabbona United Church of Christ, known then as the Shabbona Congregational Church, held a 25-cent chicken dinner and a 15-cent supper the Thursday before Thanksgiving. A few years later, the main course changed to turkey and it became an annual Thursday-before-Thanksgiving event.
Generations of families have been a part of this event in the life of this church. There are many second- and third-generation members who tell of their grandparents and great-grandparents taking part in the early turkey dinner tradition.
The 119th annual dinner and country bazaar will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15. The bazaar will begin at 3 p.m. in the fireside room off the church sanctuary, 104 E. Navaho St. in Shabbona. It will feature homemade baked goods and handmade country crafts.The dinner will be served in the church dining room from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 10. Children younger than 5 eat free. Families can pick up generously-sized carryouts from 4 to 6 p.m. for $10 each.
The family-style dinner features turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied carrots, coleslaw, rolls, beverage and homemade dessert.
The evening will include music performed by Pauline Cultra-Barnes and Jeff Weishar and friends in the church sanctuary, complete with sing-alongs of favorite songs.
119th Annual Turkey Dinner
3-7 p.m. Nov. 15 Shabbona United Church of Christ, 104 E. Navaho St., Shabbona Adults $10, children 5-10 $5 Craft and bake sale begins at 3 p.m.; dinner served at 4:30 p.m. Carryouts available from 4 to 6 p.m. Dinner includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, coleslaw, roll, beverage and dessert.