, Derry, New Hampshire


October 18, 2012

Harvest supper feeds a crowd in East Derry

DERRY — The lines of people hoping to taste turkey and all the fixings grow every year.

At First Parish, it’s a tradition to keep them coming for more as the East Derry gets ready to host its annual Harvest Supper on Oct. 20.

For more than 75 years, First Parish has opened its doors for the community to serve up turkey and everything that goes with it for hundreds and hundreds of people.

This year looks to be another successful harvest event.

Supper organizer Kevin Gordon has helped plan and execute the meals for many years. He said the process is down to a science for what volunteers need to do and where the work has to be done.

“(My wife) Diane and I start the Wednesday before, cleaning and prepping,” Gordon said. “Twenty-four turkeys are passed out on Wednesday night to volunteers to cook and returned on Saturday morning for carving.”

He said the meal also includes three bushels of squash, 150 pounds of potatoes, numerous cans of peas and green beans, with stuffing and naturally boiled onions. There’s also homemade gravy.

Once the doors open, the crowds arrive, sometimes 300 to 400 in a night’s time.

Gordon said the church can seat 150 diners in 20 minutes.

As for how successful the Harvest Supper is, Gordon said it’s a boon to the church and its projects with $2,000 or more raised from the meal.

“Money goes back to the general fund, but we do take a bit to help out with kitchen supplies,” he said.

Gordon and his wife have coordinated the supper for six years. Other First Parish members jump in to serve as event helpers. More than 70 volunteers make the meal work.

The Harvest Supper is served on Oct. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at First Parish, 47 East Derry Rd.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children. Tickets are available the night of the meal or by calling the church office at 434-0628.

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