McClure Bean Soup Festival

McClure Bean Soup Festival

Second Tuesday through Saturday in September
When a group of Civil War veterans met on the second floor of the Joseph Peters Blacksmith Shop in Bannerville, Pennsylvania, in 1883 to organize a Grand Army of the Republic Post, they probably had no idea that their actions might some day lead to a bean soup festival. But when they served a special bean soup at their first meeting, it was such a hit that they eventually invited the public to a "real Civil War bean soup dinner" in 1891. Today, thousands of gallons of bean soup are prepared in 35-gallon kettles, 16 of which can be heated simultaneously over a special battery of wood-fire furnaces set up for the occasion. The cooks, all of whom wear Civil War uniforms, take turns stirring the soup with wooden ladles for 180-minute shifts.
As the Civil War veterans died out, their sons took over the festival, which is now held at the Henry K. Ritter Camp #65 Sons of the Union War Veterans. It takes place for two full days and five nights, usually a Tuesday through Saturday in September, and includes political speeches, exhibits, parades, nightly entertainment, and amusement rides. The recipe for the soup is based on the original Civil War recipe, and it is served to over 70,000 people.
CONTACTS:
McClure Bean Soup Festival
P.O. Box 8
McClure, PA 17841
800-338-7389
www.mcclurebeansoup.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 159