Huge crowd packs the 51st Knights of Columbus Labor Day barbecue. How big? A complete sellout, from barbecue to beans to Brunswick stew.

Huge crowd packs the 51st Knights of Columbus Labor Day barbecue. How big? A complete sellout, from barbecue to beans to Brunswick stew.

Photos courtesy of Chris Lewis

The 51st edition of the Knights of Columbus Labor Day Barbecue could be one for the record books. Opening at 10 a.m. Monday to a great crowd, the flow of guests remained steady throughout lunch time with a last-minute rush credited to “word of mouth” sales. Even with an increased order of baked beans, plate and bulk sales were so brisk that they were the first to run out by 12:15 p.m.

It was a complete sellout — pork, beef, ribs, chicken, Brunswick stew and beans. In recent years, there’s been some leftovers to serve at other related events but not so in 2018. Final financial reports should be available in several days.

A community favorite — Brunswick stew — was again in high demand, especially the quart sales ($10 each). Bulk sales of the barbecue also were strong.

Much like the Noon Optimist Club’s pancake breakfast each November before Thanksgiving, the Knights’ Labor Day barbecue brings out much of the community. There were a lot of quick reunions at the Rome Civic Center, either at tables where some customers elected to dine-in or else in the order lines awaiting bulk purchases. There was a cross section of the community present, including politicians, the criminal justice community, lawyers and judges, area doctors, business owners, restaurant managers and representatives of other service organizations.

Proceeds from the barbecue sale will be reinvested in the community. The Knights, in addition to supporting Saint Mary’s parish and school initiatives, also are regular donors to many of the community’s civic and services groups. As much as $250,000 has been returned to the community since the barbecue began more than five decades ago.

The barbecue returns Sept. 2, 2019 — Labor Day Monday.

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