The North Bend Eagle


Legion BBQ
Boy Scouts and Legionaires serve up chicken meals to go at Sunday's [Aug. 9] annual barbecue.

Drive through barbecue sells out

by Nathan Arneal
Published 8/12/20

The only thing that kept the annual Morse Bluff American Legion chicken barbecue from being a bigger success was organizers not planning for the success that it was.

Because of the coronavirus epidemic, Legion organizers planned to distribute most of their chicken dinners through a drive through. Thinking numbers might be down, they also reduced their usual number of 650 meals to 500.

All 500 meals were gone by 12:30, an hour and a half before the scheduled end of the event.

Legion Commander Galen Johnson said in retrospect, cutting down on numbers was a bad move.

“So many people said they are so glad we’re having this,” Johnson said. “They’re feeling comfortable and want to get out.”

The meals were also served out of a take-out window with some seating set up in the shade. However, Johnson estimated that about three-fourths of the sales were done at the drive through.

Vehicles entered Morse Bluff on First Street (the ‘Bottom Road’) and were directed to turn north on Ann Street. Vehicles then turned west into the alley that runs between the Legion Hall and Centennial Park. At the east end of the alley, customers bought meal tickets. They then moved through the line toward the west where they traded their tickets for boxed chicken dinners. Scouts of Troop 110 carried the boxed meals from the kitchen to a table by the alley.

At one point canceling the barbecue was put to a vote among the Legionnaires.

“I’d say two-thirds of us said ‘Hell yes, we’re going to go ahead with it,” Johnson said.

He also noted that several people who voted against it still showed up to work.
Johnson said the drive-through line might become a permanent feature of the barbecue, pointing out that it was easier to wait in line in an air-conditioned vehicle than outside in the August heat.

“This will be a tradition now,” he said.

And next year, they won’t cut back on number of chickens prepared.




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