Annual Groundhog Day Celebration Returns, Feb. 4   

Diners at the Harrison Township Historical Society’s Groundhog Day Dinner celebrate tradition with Down Jersey sausage links, sausage gravy and biscuits and all the fixings at the Ewan Fire Hall.  This year’s dinner will take place at 6 pm on Saturday, February 4, 2016.
Diners at the Harrison Township Historical Society’s Groundhog Day Dinner celebrate tradition with Down Jersey sausage links, sausage gravy and biscuits and all the fixings at the Ewan Fire Hall. This year’s dinner will take place at 6 pm on Saturday, February 4, 2016.

MULLICA HILL — The Harrison Township Historical Society’s Annual Groundhog Day Dinner and Silent Auction is set for Saturday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Ewan Fire Hall, 312 Ewan Road.

This annual event features “Down Jersey” sausage links, sausage gravy and biscuits, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, candied yams, fried apples, green beans, and a dessert buffet.  Now in its thirteenth year, the event is a revival of a century-old Harrison Township tradition.

“The menu entrée is a play on words,” said Society president, Suzanne Grasso.  “We serve sausage – the ‘ground’ hog – to celebrate the holiday.”

The first local Groundhog Day dinners took place in the early 1900s.  Local farmers belonging to the Richwood Men’s Bible Class made the sausage and prepared the dinner for the entire church.

“Several years ago the Society’s Board decided to revive the tradition,” added Grasso. “Not only are we preserving local culinary history, the dinner also helps fund the Society’s activities.  It’s a unique local event.”

The dinner is a fun-filled evening for the entire family.  In addition to the home-cooked menu, the program includes an emcee decked out in tails and top hat, a popular silent auction and perhaps the only opportunity in South Jersey to sing Groundhog Day songs.

“We found lyrics about Groundhog Day set to familiar tunes,” said Judy Suplee, one of the Society’s trustees, “and thought they would be fun to include on the program.”

Tickets for the event are $15 and available at the Amazing Grace Resource Center, 46 South Main St., Mullica Hill (856-478-9800), on-line at the Society’s website (www.harrisonhistorical.com), and at the door.

“Advance purchase is recommended since seating is limited,” added Suplee.

All proceeds benefit the Society’s exhibitions and educational programs at the Old Town Hall Museum, located at the intersection of S. Main Street and Woodstown Road in the heart of the Mullica Hill Historic District.

Old Town Hall Museum reopens Saturday, March 18, with Game On! A Century of Sports and Recreation.  This exhibition explores Harrison Township’s sports history from early town baseball teams to biographies of local sports notables though photographs, vintage film and artifacts from the Society’s collections and many private sources, most of which is on view for the first time.

Up to date information about the Groundhog Day Dinner and upcoming activities can be found at the Society’s website, www.harrisonhistorical.com.

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