This year’s dinner is Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Bob Evans Farm Shelterhouse. Admission of $3 for ages 13 and up and $1 for children entitles buyers to all the beans, crackers, coffee and water they can eat.
Cornbread and pies will be available from the United Methodist Women, soft drinks from the Rio Grande Baseball Association, and Bob Evans sausage sandwiches.
A flag raising by FFW Post 4464 has been set for 11 a.m. to start the dinner. The national anthem and entertainment for the dinner will be played by the Cherry Ridge Band.
The dinner is sponsored by the Rio Grande Memorial Association, a non-profit organization perpetuating the memory of American veterans who served their country.
Following the suggestion of Gen. John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in 1868 that observations be scheduled to honor those who served in the Civil War, the Rio Grande bean dinner has been held since 1870. It is one of three in the immediate area observed in the late summer.
Vinton, whose first bean dinner is reportedly traced back to 1868, held its dinner last Saturday. A dinner is usually held at Wilkesville on the first Saturday in September.
“The custom is uninterrupted and the Rio Grande bean dinner is a proud and steadfast tradition begun long ago,” said historian C. Robert “Bob” Leith of Ohio University Southern in Ironton, who annually provides a history of the bean dinner.
“The Civil War veterans, who this dinner originally honored, are gone now, but in the midst of the homecoming, fine food and entertainment, let us not forget those who have ‘given the last full measure of devotion,’ and to pledge that our dead ‘shall not have died in vain,’” he added.