By Irene Drage • Irene Drage • 

Turkey, trucks and more highlight Turkey Rama

Marcus Larson / News-RegisterVolunteers work at the barbecue.
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Volunteers work at the barbecue.

One of the biggest draws was Mike and Chris Buddrius’ 1923 Buick. Gary and Donna Bryant’s 1928 Ford roadster also proved popular among festival-goers, and Patty Shepard’s 1974 Volkswagen Thing was a hit with the younger set.

In Wortman Park, the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce staged what it bills as the World’s Largest Turkey Barbeque. It’s the chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

The sale featured barbequed, foil-wrapped turkey halves to go and lunch fare to eat on the premises. At 5 p.m., the remainder of the turkey was transported to First Presbyterian for a Saturday night turkey dinner.

Doug Anderson has been organizing the event for the past 10 years.

Asked if it’s actually the world’s largest turkey barbeque, Anderson said, “Well, at least nobody’s called us on it yet.” He said the chamber typically manages to sell 700 to 800 turkeys.

Rachel White of Express Employment Professionals, a chamber ambassador, shadowed park activities this year to prepare to head the volunteer corps at Wortman next year.

“Everyone here is a volunteer,” White said. She said many of them were associated with major employers like Cascade Steel and Freelin-Wade, but a lot of small businesses were represented as well.

White said the event has been held for more than 50 years now. She said some of this year’s volunteers are descendants of people who volunteered for the chamber’s very first barbeque.

“People start cooking at midnight,” White said. “Crews come in to start wrapping at 3 a.m.”

She noted, “The corrections department helps out. We have some really reliable inmates helping us.”

McMinnville’s Second Winds community band, directed by Mark Williams, provided entertainment for park diners at the affair.

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