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49th Forkland Festival is a food event

Today’s 49th annual Forkland Heritage Festival and Revue is an abbreviated version of the popular event. But the sense of community pride and a desire to keep the festival alive despite the pandemic is as robust as ever.

The festival is really a food event this year, said Forkland Community Center President Matthew Ellis.

Saturday morning Matthew Ellis begins pulling 22 cooked pork butts for tonight’s special drive-thru feast which is taking the place of the annual Forkland Heritage Festival this year.

Instead of the traditional arts and craft vendors, lots of booths selling a variety of foods and horse-drawn wagon hay rides at the Forkland Community Center, pulled pork sandwiches with all the fixings are being sold to those who drive around the community center.

Members of the community center have prepared more than 200 pounds of pork butt, made gallons of homemade creamy cole slaw, 375 potatoes are baking on a large grill, and 15 huge sorgham cakes with lemon sauce are being sliced for every meal.

Ellis said they are hoping between 400 and 450 meals will be served this afternoon and evening. Proceeds from the event will go toward the maintenance of the community center.

As Gary Pike was closing the grill lid for the baked potatoes this morning, he said not being able to have a “normal” festival this year, will make next year’s 50th annual Forkland Heritage festival even more special.