Kammann Sausage Fry to sizzle again Nov. 30
WHAT: 54th annual Yuma Rotary Walt Kammann Sausage Fry
WHEN: 4:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30, takeout available
WHERE: Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive
COST: $9 a plate
TICKETS: At the door or in advance at G&T Alarm Co., 2868 S. Avenue B, or from any Yuma Rotary Club member.
WHAT'S GOING ON: Walt Kammann sausage dinner, music, raffles, sausage eating contest
BENEFITS: A variety of local charites, scholarships and Rotary projects
It's easy to know where to find the annual Yuma Rotary Walt Kammann Sausage Fry — just look for the big plume of smoke created by grilling a ton of sausages.
They become dinner for some 3,000 people who turn out for the annual event.
This year's sausage fry will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive. That's a little earlier than the usual first Friday of December to avoid a conflict with the El Toro Bowl.
Cost this year is $9 for a plate that will include the famous sausages as well as beans, coleslaw, salsa, dinner roll and a beverage. Dessert items also will be available for sale.
The food is served with a generous helping of music, raffles and fun catching up with old friends or making new ones.
For those can't stay, takeout will be available.
Tickets can be bought at the door or in advance at G&T Alarm Co., 2868 S. Avenue B, or from any Yuma Rotary Club member.
Last year, 3,100 people attended. But with four serving lines, there's only a short wait to get a plate of food.
The sausage fry, now in its 54th year, is an ingrained part of the community's holiday observances.
It began as the International Buffet, a competition between Yuma Rotary Club members to find out who could come up with the best meal.
Walt Kammann, using a sausage recipe he brought with him from Wisconsin, won three years in a row. As a result, the event became the Walt Kammann Sausage Fry, was moved to the Yuma County Fairgrounds and became a fundraiser for the club.
The event expanded until it was too large for the fairgrounds and was moved to the civic center in 1989.
But there's still a Kammann or two — now in the third and fourth generations of the family — represented at the grill.
Jeff Kammann, son of Bob Kammann and grandson of Walt Kammann, will be at the event to make sure the sausages are up to par as they are being cooked over mesquite charcoal. He expects his father and uncle to join him at the grill along with his sister, cousin Trevor and maybe their children as apprentices.
They will prepare 2,000 pounds of sausage, 300 pounds of beans and 25 20-pound cases of coleslaw.
“We have it down to a science,” Jeff Kammann said.
And, yes, the event is a labor of love, he said, one that “thank goodness is mostly free labor” by the 1,000 volunteers who lend a hand the evening of the sausage fry.
The event is a major fundraiser for the Yuma Rotary Club, raising from $8,000 to $12,000 a year, depending on food costs, he said. Beneficiaries include various community charities, scholarships, the Student of the Month program and Teacher of the Year banquet.
The event will also feature a sausage-eating contest, with the Yuma Rotary Club making donations to the charities of choice for each contestant, from $250 for the first-place winner to $50 for others.
Oh, by the way, the recipe for the famous sausage is a closely guarded family secret so don't ask.
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.