Ruritans hold successful cookout despite weather

Published 8:44 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

The weekend rain may have stymied the turnout at the Crittenden, Eclipse & Hobson Ruritan Hall in Eclipse on Saturday, but hundreds of people still enjoyed tasty pork and cold beer under the cover of umbrellas and tents for the club’s 18th annual Beer, Bands and BBQ.

“We only served about 210 people today, which is a couple hundred down from last year,” C.E.&H Ruritan Club President Mike Mullen said. “The weather was not our friend this year. It’s unfortunate we ran into that, but we still had at least 200 people brave the elements today. I’d consider that a success.”

Friends and family huddled under tents with lawn chairs and cold cups filled at the beer truck between light downpours. Branches Tasting Room from Chesapeake offered samples of its wine selection as well.

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“You just wait for the rain to break and go,” Japheth Saecker said with a cup of Devils Backbone.

Ruritans cooked approximately 730 pounds of delicious pork butt for barbecue lovers this year, Mullen said. The sandwiches were paired with baked beans, coleslaw and plenty of sauce.

“The food is awesome,” Ariane Arayata said.

The River Boyz band took to the stage and people danced to the music in the wet grass.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Joelle Edgeman said holding her umbrella. “You can’t let the rain stop you. I’m from Washington state, that’s how I know.”

Mullen estimated that they raised about $3,000 this year, compared to the $4,000 to $9,000 range that the club typically raises through events. Proceeds support the club’s Fourth of July fireworks, programs to feed the hungry around the holidays, scholarships and more.

“We just use it where the community needs it,” Mullen said.

From first-timers to annual regulars, the crowds didn’t seem to mind the rain falling on Saturday’s summer kickoff.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s rain or shine, we’re having a good time,” Christy Howell said.