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Sertoma Club of Lancaster Will Host Largest U.S. Chicken Barbecue: May 19 event will support Long’s Park and community programs

Apr 10th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page, News


LANCASTER (Apr. 10, 2018) – Now in its 66th year, the nation’s largest chicken barbecue will be held again on Saturday, May 19 at Long’s Park in Lancaster.  The Sertoma Club of Lancaster’s chicken barbecue is the biggest event of its kind in the U.S., as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. A total of 23,000 dinners will be prepared this year, with 1,500 donated to charitable organizations for people in need in the Lancaster area.

Long’s Park will receive 70 percent of the event’s proceeds. This year’s goal is $100,000, following last year’s total of just over that amount. Other beneficiaries are Compass Mark’s Kids Kamp for children who live with substance abuse, hearing screenings for children in Head Start, and several more community programs.

The chicken barbecue will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost of each meal is $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the barbecue. Payment may be made by cash or credit card.

Each dinner will include a chicken half, banana, dinner roll, bags of chips and pretzels, apple sauce cup, pack of licorice, ice cream cup and cold drink. Beer and wine will be available for free tasting and purchase. The event also will feature a family fun area where children can enjoy a bounce house, other inflatables and the park’s petting zoo.

Nicki Nafziger, 2018 barbecue chair, says, “We have an amazing team of volunteers that works year-round to ensure the barbecue raises the funds needed to care for Long’s Park, Compass Mark’s Kids Kamp and the Sertoma Club of Lancaster’s additional community partners.”

In addition to Sertoma members and their families, people of all ages from across the Lancaster community pitch in to help. For example, Kids Camp youth help with overnight preparations, and Boy Scouts assist with overnight security.

Nafziger adds, “Our team relies on an army of 500 volunteers who start working the day before the barbecue to prepare the chicken, fill the dinner boxes, sell tickets and hand the dinners to our faithful supporters.”

First held in 1953 when it raised $137, the community event has since brought in more than $2 million, with most of the funds going to Long’s Park. The barbecue has raised $1.8 million for beautification, maintenance and construction at the park. Proceeds have provided the park with playgrounds, including one accessible for all children; restrooms; wetlands and an environmental trail; care for animals in the petting zoo; and maintenance of the pond, amphitheater, picnic tables, park benches, lawns and trees.


Tickets are available at Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Lancaster County and online at To volunteer, call 717-875-7012 or email

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