In 1893, The Shabbona United Church of Christ, known then as the Shabbona Congregational Church held a chicken dinner at .25 cents and a supper at .15 cents on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.
A few years later the dinner changed to turkey and became an annual Thursday before Thanksgiving event that has continued for 118 years. Generations of families have been part of this historical 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.
This 119th dinner and country bazaar will be held Nov. 15. The bazaar will begin at 3 p.m. in the fireside room off the sanctuary. It will feature homemade baked goods and handmade country crafts. It is a great time to stock up on holiday goodies for the freezer.
The dinner will be served in the church dining room from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Ticket donations cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 10, and free for children younger than 5. Families can pick up generously sized carry-outs from 4 to 6 p.m. for $10 per dinner.
The traditional family-style dinner features turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied carrots, cole slaw, rolls, beverage, and homemade dessert.
The evening promises to be filled with old-time music performed by Pauline Cultra-Barnes and Jeff Weishar and friends in the church sanctuary, complete with sing-a-longs of favorite songs.
The Shabbona United Church of Christ is located at 104 E. Navaho St. in Shabbona.