The Topinabee Fire Fighters annual chicken barbecue will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions last year's barbecue was moved from the Topinabee Park. This year's event will be take-out only with meals picked up at the Mullett Township Hall.
The menu traditionally includes 1/2 of a barbecued chicken, baked potato, corn on the cob, coleslaw, roll, watermelon and dessert.
The event is sponsored by the Topinabee Fire Fighters Association, Station 6400.
Burt Lake Chicken BBQ
For 99 years people enjoyed a late August meal of Burt Lake barbecued chicken, at the Burt Lake Community Club located on M-68 & Ellinger, 6 miles west of Indian River. However, in 2020 like so many other events the Burt Lake Chicken Barbecue was cancelled. People for whom the event had been a decades long family tradition found that in 2020 even though they still wanted Burt Lake barbecued chicken there was none to be had. In 2020, those who wanted Burt Lake chicken were out of cluck.
But 2021 is a new year and the Burt Lake Chicken Barbecue and pit corn roast is back and ready to celebrate its 100th year. After being cancelled last year due to COVID, the legendary Burt Lake Chicken Barbecue and pit corn roast is making a triumphant return.
“Last year would have been our 100th, but since we didn’t have it last year this is our centennial year. We’re kind of excited about that,” Kathy Ginop, a longtime organizer of the event said. “I don’t know what’ll happen for the next year, but we’re doing it this year.”
This year’s barbecue will take place on Thursday, Aug. 19. Serving time will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be a couple of changes. All meals this year will be take out. There will be no dining room meals. Typically, about half of the meals were served on site, in the dining room. But this year, to avoid any issues of COVID exposure, all meals will be to-go. This year, there also won’t be call ahead orders. People will need to park their cars and walk up to order and then pick up their meals. To keep the lines moving, there will be only two kinds of pies.
Other than that, there will still be the traditional chicken, corn, potatoes, biscuits and salad.
Burt Lake Christian Church Secretary Tina Allen said the chicken barbecue is a Burt Lake community event and a lot of people are excited about its return. “I’ve had calls already. People are looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to it.
Ginop said she’s also had people say they’re happy the barbecue is back on this year. “A lot of people that we’ve talked to have said, ‘Oh, I’m glad you’re having it again because we’ve always looked forward to it.’” At the 2019 barbecue, between 900 and 1,000 dinners were served and a similar number is expected this year.