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Cooking at the grill during last year’s pork fest. Courtesy photo.




East Concord Pork Festival

When: Sunday, Aug. 16, from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Grace Episcopal Church/Merrill Park, Eastman Street, Concord
Cost: Free admission; donations welcome.
See: graceeastconcord.org. 




Pork party
Cookout comes to East Concord

08/13/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



The community is invited to pig out on roast pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and other seasonal favorites at Pork Fest, happening this year on Sunday, Aug. 16, at Merrill Park in Concord.

The event began six years ago as a way to bring back the community tradition of getting together to enjoy food and fellowship while also raising money for Grace Episcopal Church’s then brand-new Take-A-Tote program that brings food to local schools to make sure children have meals for the weekend.
“People who are longtime members remember when there were more community cookouts and block parties and wanted to do [something] to build community in Concord,” Rev. Jason Wells said in a phone interview. 
The church partnered with Quality Cash Market just up the road, which continues to donate roast pork butts for the festival, while the church members divvy up the duties for the other items on the menu. Wells said that the church members do the grilling, serve the food and make most of the dishes at home to bring in and serve to the hundreds of guests who attend, the majority of whom are community members not involved with the congregation. The event is held rain or shine; Wells said they’re hoping to see 500 visitors this year.
“Grace [Episcopal] Church is one of the smaller [churches] in Concord. On a Sunday morning we have about 70 people here,” Wells said. “For an event like this in the summertime, our congregation are almost all volunteering — they are not coming in and eating.”
The festival is held every year at Merrill Park, right across the street from the church. Guests can enjoy the basketball courts  and the festival’s first touch-a-truck event with a Concord police cruiser, fire truck and UPS truck. Raffles, a silent auction, a bounce house, a dance exhibition and performance by balladeer Jim Barnes will also be featured.
“One of the nice things about the location is that there is a park and a playground right there so there’s already a built-in something to do,” Wells said.
Admission to the festival and the food is free, Wells said. Proceeds from the raffle, silent auction and donation basket will go toward the Take-A-Tote Program.
 
As seen in the August 13, 2015 issue of the Hippo. 





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