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Jammin' and chicken

Food, fun fellowship at jamboree


Shana Neesvig

GRILL MASTERS Bob Butte (left) and Don Burrell cooked more than 450 pounds of chicken at the annual Chicken Jamboree on Saturday in Thompson Falls.

The three C's in life; community, camaraderie and...CHICKEN! Put them together and you have the annual Chicken Jamboree.

For 29 years the Thompson Falls Christian Men's Prayer Breakfast Group, led by Don Burrell, has hosted the Chicken Jamboree at Power Park in Thompson Falls. Throughout the years, the event has continuously gained popularity.

This year, over 450 pounds of chicken legs, wings and breasts were grilled over the coals manned by Burrell and Bob Butte. "I am hoping to get the chicken to 165 degrees," Butte commented as he checked the temperature of random pieces. "I'm having trouble getting them there because it is not 95 degrees out," he compared this year to previous years when the weather was quite warmer.

As of noon, Burrell commented that the crowd was not quite as heavy as prior years, but event goers were steadily showing up at a constant pace and it looked promising to reach normal attendance numbers.

The provided kids' swimming pools were not too busy as temperatures were cooler, but this did not stop juvenile participation in other areas. Kids were enjoying face painting activities sponsored by Sanders County Coalition for Families as mother-daughter duo Crystal and Bella Buchanan painted masterpieces on arms and faces.

Shana Neesvig

FUN FOR EVERYONE – Three-year-old firefighter in costume James Reilley felt grown up in the oversized fire gear.

The Thompson Falls Fire Department was available to give a hands-on demonstration for any children who wanted to see how a fire hose works, what the inside of the fire truck looks like or to fashion themselves in fire-protection gear.

The event kicked off at 11 a.m. with the sounds of the Gospel Mountain Choir and smells of grilled chicken filling the air. By noon, parking was full and many residents who lived within walking distance opted to walk to the park carrying their folding lawn chairs to the event instead.

Every year the Jamboree is a success because multiple county businesses and residents come forward and donate their time, money and cooking expertise. This year was no different. There was plenty of food to go along with the plentitude of smiles, laughter and fun had by all.


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