When you see the big top going up in Geneva this weekend, it doesn't mean the Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to town. But it is a circus in a way and a Bailey is involved.
Little did Judy Bailey Thompson realize when she cooked the first wild game and took it to Geneva Liquor Store all those years ago how her idea would grow to such proportions it went from a crock pot to a tent, a big tent which would hold the large amount of people who come year after year for the annual Wild Game Feed.
It isn't just local folks who turn out for this yearly event. A great number of out-of-towners and people from great distances call or write to check to be sure the wild game will be available to enjoy.
This is all food donated and prepared in many different ways from many different wild animals that have been fattened on grass-filled pastures and other natural foods like nuts and berries. It is about as organic as you could get.
So what is cooking in Geneva this weekend? Checking with Steve Bailey and that great crew of people who turn out year after year to help prepare all that wild game that has been donated, they will tell you that though there is ordinary food like potatoes and dressing, baked beans and tacos, to name a few, but the main attraction is the venison, alligator, fish, elk, buffalo, ducks, geese, pheasant, mourning doves, etc. You will just have to come to Geneva and see for yourself.
It is hard to comprehend the amount of food that plates can hold or stomachs either for that matter. And it is all free will donation.
We'll always thank Judy for that first Wild Game Feed and continue to thank her husband, Hank, and her boys for continuing the feed, along with some great friends who cook like you can't imagine.
“Good,” is what people say as the good stuff slides down. "I look forward to this day all year long," is something else you hear often as you see the crowd pile in to find row after row of picnic tables filled with hungry individuals. Otherwise it is standing room only. The tent overflows.
The "Gun Guys," David Thompson, Taff Worrell, Alex Beenken and Bruce Buboltz, to name a few, keep up the raffle for some 50 or more guns so everyone is entertained or rewarded by winning. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy tickets from the cute gals who are on hand to sell the raffle tickets for all the guns that will be available?
The 31st Annual Wild Game Feed will get underway at 10 on Saturday morning, Dec. 5 and that great selection of wild game will be ready to enjoy starting at 11 under the heated bog top. The food will continue until it is all gone, so you better make sure you get their early as you wouldn't want to miss the chance to enjoy all the different items.
Hope you see you all there!
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, December 3rd: Eric Degan, Ethan Fletcher Cornelius, Brian Van Ravenhorst
• Friday, December 4th: Sue Mattson, Jessica Shultz, Sandy Larson Russo, Sue Brown Asplund, Shawn Vangen Steffen, Jeff Kasper, Skylar Larson, Holly Pichner, Max Jensen, Casey & Jon Homuth
• Saturday, December 5th: Finnegan Fladger, Bodie Jaxon Newgard, Phyllis Hanson, Rick Aaseth, Rosalyn Johnson, Kathy Lee, Christian Conroy, Shannon Jensen, Kelsey Loverink, Ron Farner, Larry & Mary Richards
• Sunday, December 6th: Sharon Johnson, Rodger Hill, Katie Marlin, Tony Jackovitch, John Lerum, John Kaplan, Sue Klemmensen, Chris & Marie Wallace, Emily & Jeffrey O'Brien
• Monday, December 7th: Katie Olson, Tracy Holland, Sam Peterson, Angela Hensrud, Wanda Schwartz, Helen Schmidt, Kara & Eric Grant, Ron & Theresa Langlie, Dawn & Eric Degan
• Tuesday, December 8th: Kathy Glynn, Teri McDonald, Jeff Schei, Tracy Haddy, James Olsen, Mike Flugum, Meghan Baumann
• Wednesday, December 9th: Eva Buendorf, 2012; Carrisa Christensen, Paitan Janis Glynn, Al Paulson, Robert Robertson, Rusty Besco, Mark Ribbe, Tony Phillips, Courtney Thompson, Brian Strand, Chuck & Cynthia Crabtree, Steve & Terri Engel
May you find joy and pleasure all around you on your special day.