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Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

Small-town picnic serves up big fun

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(Photo)
Mike Kern hammers a beam with help from David Westrich while setting up for the annual New Hamburg Picnic, which is set for Friday and Saturday. Also working to secure the stand's frame in the background are Dennis Kern, Floyd Klipfel and Kelly Kern. Leonna Heuring, Staff
NEW HAMBURG -- When asked what makes the annual New Hamburg Picnic so special, event chairman Nathan Dirnberger didn't have to think long before answering.

"It's just good, small-town fun," he said. "It's a good atmosphere, and everybody is always happy."

This year's picnic is set for 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the farming community nestled in the hills of Scott County. The two-day event serves as an annual fundraiser of the town's only church, St. Lawrence.

"It brings everything back to the basics," Dirnberger concluded about the festivities.

A home-cooked dinner, which serves almost 950 people, is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday in the church's parish center. Fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, roast beef and gravy, buttered potatoes, cabbage and cucumber slaws and fresh tomato slices are included in the menu.

"It's the only dinner where I can get the three things I like -- fried chicken, chicken and dumplings and kettle beef -- all at once," said Chris Grojean of New Hamburg, adding he also likes the fresh tomatoes. "I think it's the best meal."

According to dinner organizers, to prepare the dinner, kitchen help use 260 pounds of kettle beef, 800 pounds of chicken, 200 pounds of hens (used for dumpling broth), 33 dozen eggs (to make dumplings), 300 pounds of potatoes, 20 gallons of corn, 24 gallons of green beans and 130 pounds of cabbage for slaw.

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