Volunteers prep for Lancaster’s Sertoma Chicken BBQ

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Hundreds of volunteers are getting ready for a 60 year Lancaster tradition.

In fact, The Sertoma Chicken Barbeque is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s largest chicken barbeque.

Volunteers set up and cleaned rows of massive grills that will barbeque thousands of chickens.

The Sertoma Club of Lancaster is getting ready to sell 26,000 meals in Long’s Park on Saturday.

“After 60 years of doing it, it’s like an institution, I mean, what would the third weekend in May be without the Sertoma Chicken BBQ? I’m not sure what it would be,” said June Chipman, this year’s Sertoma barbeque chair.

Donations from local companies and 500 volunteers make it all possible.

Those volunteers include Tom Kile, who estimates he has volunteered at the event for some 35 years.

“Friday we’re pretty much here all day,” he said. “You know, getting the assembly area set up, so probably until 5 or 6 this after. Then the pit guys come and start cooking the chicken around midnight and then I’m back at 6 o’clock Saturday morning to start assembling.”

But Kile said all of the hard work is definitely worth it.

“I have a grandson who’s 20 months ago and he loves to come to Long’s Park so it’s a great place to be,” he said.

Proceeds from this event go to number of different causes, but the 80 percent of the money goes toward the maintenance of Long’s Park.

The Wendling Family of Lancaster visits Long’s Park several times a week. They may come back Saturday for the chicken barbeque.

“It’s delicious! And the smell of it makes you want to come here,” said Jodi Wendling. “It’s amazing. I think it’s amazing that it’s here and it’s that big.”

You can buy $9 tickets in advance at any Turkey Hill, or you can pay $10 Saturday at Long’s Park.

The sale runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. or until supplies last.