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Gerry Rodeo’s barbecue beef dinners are back this weekend

Photo by Paul Cooley Chef Bruce Gustafson checks out the maple wood which will be used to cook 1,100 pounds of beef for the second drive-thru version of the traditional barbecue beef dinners on Sept. 26-27.

GERRY — The pandemic may have caused the cancellation of this summer’s 76th rodeo, but the tradition of the famous beef barbecue dinner is back by popular demand for the second time this summer, thanks to the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department which will be offering the dinners again on Saturday and Sunday with another drive-thru event.

Tom Atwell, rodeo chairman, says that they were surprised at the response to the event last month as they served more than 900 dinners during the two-day event, and dinners were sold out quickly both days. He says that the demand was so great that they are planning a 50% increase in the number of dinners prepared to avoid disappointing anyone.

Atwell noted that having the dinners served as “take-outs” was a completely new experience for the volunteers, and he said they have worked hard to eliminate any problems that might have occurred last month. He added that the fire department was heartened by the support and patience of those who came as all proceeds go to the department to help offset the losses suffered by the postponement of this year’s rodeo.

The menu is the traditional one, consisting of roast beef cooked over aged maple wood, secret recipe barbecue sauce, deep fried potatoes with gravy, corn, tossed salad, cottage cheese, and a roll. The dinners will be served on Saturday from 4-7 p.m. or until the 800 dinners are sold out. Sunday hours are from noon-3:30 p.m. or until sold out with 500 dinners available that day. The price will be $15, and payment will be by credit card or cash — no checks.

Patrons should remain in their cars, and meals will be delivered to them. All volunteers will be observing CDC and Chautauqua County COVID-19 regulations and guidelines, and the food will be prepared under supervision of the Chautauqua County Department of Health.

Rodeo fans are invited to visit the rodeo website, www.gerryrodeo.org, or to check out the Gerry Rodeo on Facebook.

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