OLD-TIME RELIGION: Dinner on the grounds returning to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church

Published 4:00 am Sunday, September 24, 2023

After a three-year break forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a church tradition returns to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bovina.

“Our Dinner on the Grounds and Country Market is Oct. 15 from noon to 2 p.m.,” said church warden Penny Freund. “Dinner on the grounds is historically something that St. Alban’s has done for decades.”

Freund said the dinner on the grounds tradition at St. Alban’s goes back to before the 1950s.

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“It may have actually been before that,” she said. “I know that our older members are thoroughly familiar with it.”

She said dinner on the grounds was halted during the pandemic, adding the event was canceled in 2022 because many church members had not returned to church, forcing organizers to postpone it a third time.

“It was really hard last year,” Freund said. “This is the first time back in about three years that we’ve had dinner on the grounds and we’re very excited about it.”

The menu for this year’s dinner is Cajun red beans and rice, with hot dogs available for attendees who prefer an alternative.

“We have an authentic Cajun in our congregation and she says, ‘I make the best red beans and rice on the planet,’ so we’re going to go with that,” Freund said. “We’re going to trust her.”

Besides the dinner, visitors to the church will be able to shop for items at a country store and purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and fruit trees from the Farmacy, an area farm. Music will be provided by local musician Ralph Miller.

Tickets for dinner on the grounds are $15 and $10 for a hot dog plate. The red beans and rice come with homemade coleslaw, a brownie, French bread and iced tea. Tickets are available through Oct. 11 through the church office or online at stalbansbovina.org.

“You get a whole dinner to go, or you can eat right there with us on the grounds, under the trees in the shade,” Freund said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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