Groundhog feed marks Humboldt tradition

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February 6, 2017 - 12:00 AM

HUMBOLDT — Although the famous Pennsylvania groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of wintry weather, that did not deter patrons from attending the 59th annual Groundhog Feed Saturday at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Humboldt.
Melvin Baker, 88, said he has attended the event, sponsored by the Lutheran Men’s Club, since the first year. His reason for attending the event 59 times is simple.
 “I like pancakes,” Baker said.
Bob Coldwell, 90, said although he has missed a couple of the annual breakfasts, he estimated he has attended at least 50 times. He said he looks forward to the people and the food.  In the past he attended the event with up to five generations of family members.
“A few years I took a vacation and went to Texas, “Coldwell said. “I haven’t been here for all of them, but I have been here for most of them. “
In addition to breakfast, the men’s group sells freshly processed bacon, sausage and ribs. Although many of the patrons have attended for years, Darrell Krone, Humboldt, said a few things have changed during that time.
“In the past we actually had congregation members that raised hogs,” Krone said.  “We tried to buy from them, giving them market price, which was good for us and good for them. Then as hog raising became more of a big farm activity all the locals just quit raising them, and so now we go to the locker plant itself and have them acquire the hogs.”
Krone said the group purchased eight hogs for this year’s event.
Pastor Timothy Roth said the pancake breakfast brings the community together, and is anticipated every year.  He said the enthusiasm surrounding the event defines the congregation. 
“That willingness to serve, that willingness to be there and be with one another, is truly a mark of who they are,” Roth said
Scott Baker, Humboldt, said the proceeds from the event, which typically feeds between 500 and 600 local residents, support various Humboldt- area mission projects. 
Area residents came to purchase hot pancakes and sausage, but as for the groundhog’s prediction of wintery weather, Melvin Baker, Coldwell and Scott Baker said they weren’t buying it.

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