The Jefferson Community Club and the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department will host the annual Jefferson Barbecue Spring on Saturday, April 16 at the Jefferson Community Club. The barbecue will be sold by the pound and take-out plates will be available from 8:30 a.m.
The cost is $10 per pound or per plate to go. The plate includes barbecue, salad and homemade potato cake, bread and pickles. Pints of signature Jefferson sauce will be available for $3. Cash is preferred and checks are accepted, but no debit or credit cards are accepted.
The event has been a full house for several years. Both options will be available for purchase from 8:30 a.m. until the barbecue is sold out. There is no presale or reservation.
Jefferson Barbecue is a long-standing gathering tradition in Marengo County, but travelers come from all over the county, even state lines, to sample the unique recipe. In fact, the event has seen sold-out crowds more often than not in recent years. Last October, all barbecues were sold out before noon.
“Barbecue has sold out in record time over the past few years,” said Jefferson Fire Chief George Norris. “We cook whatever our core can hold, and it takes a solid day and night to cook, so when it’s gone, it’s gone.”
They pack pork shoulders on their on-site pit until every inch is covered, and the meat smokes for 24 hours over hickory coals. Community members spend at least a few days before cooking, cooking and preparing.
“It’s great for any organization to have a fundraiser that sells well because it means you have support and people appreciate what you have to offer,” said Pam Locke Baker. “On the other hand, it’s hard to see friends showing up when the last book has been sold and having to tell them we’ve sold. That’s why we cannot promise that we will continue to serve in the afternoon, it may not last that long.
“Our community is blessed to have the level of volunteerism that we have and also the support that we receive from so many others for a successful fundraiser,” said Betsy Compton Luker, volunteer fire department member. “It’s about good food, of course, but also, having such support for this event makes a huge difference to our department and has a huge positive impact on our community, while keeping one of the greatest traditions of our county.”
Proceeds from the barbecue benefit both the community club and the firefighters, and it is the only fundraiser for each organization, helping the VFD maintain and upgrade its equipment and facilities, which are located adjacent to the Jefferson Community Club. The fleet includes four trucks used to serve the community – a service truck, a brush truck, an engine and two tanker trucks, all of which are aging and in need of timely repairs and maintenance.
“Our barbecue has been a huge help to us over the years,” Norris said. “The proceeds from this event help us do some of the things that we might not be able to do with just the limited funds allocated to us. It takes a lot of money and time to maintain a fire department, in part because of everything it takes for us to not only pass the inspection, but strive for a rating that helps ensure that our neighbors can see the positive results of fire protection when it comes time to pay their property insurance premiums.
JVFD’s coverage area includes not only the immediate five-mile stretch adjacent to the resort, but also the mileage of US Highway 80 west to Plaza Golf Carts in Demopolis, County Roads 21 and 57, Rangeline Road and dozens of dirt roads through the community. The service is run entirely by volunteers.
“Everything we do is a time commitment from our volunteers, a real commitment,” Norris said. “Our volunteers don’t just show up when we get a pager, fight a fire, and then go home. We have dedicated people who train for several hours each month, keep our facilities and trucks clean, perform maintenance, keep grass and brush clear around nearly 70 fire hydrants along the roads, and keep those painted and maintained, and all the logistics that need to be in line for us to operate safely.
Combining all of these efforts, Jefferson VFD volunteers contribute nearly 2,000 hours of work each year. That’s probably a modest estimate. But their work is necessary.
“Our department was established in 1986 after several properties in our community were burned down,” Norris said. “We’re not going to stop all fires from happening, but we can help create a sense of safety and safety awareness when incidents do happen. We hope that every little thing we do will help keep our community a little safer. »
Jefferson has a small population, but the vast area is literally a map of some of the best pasture and woodlots in the county. A high percentage of JVFD calls are about bushfires, so safely controlling the fire before allowing it to overcome property or reach a structure is usually the top priority.
“Fire protection, especially for volunteer firefighters, seems like a matter of putting water on a flame, but so many factors have changed that over the years,” Norris said. “To make room for every safety measure, more money needs to be spent on safety equipment, more hours need to be spent on training than ever before, and we need to keep all of these things in mind during that we’re doing the things that before might have seemed like such basic steps. We’re lucky to have people who are committed to giving what it takes.
Jefferson Community Club is located on Highway 28 in the community of Jefferson. The physical address is 26098 Alabama Highway 28, Demopolis.