RIO GRANDE — On Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Village of Rio Grande and its memorial association will host its 147th bean dinner at the Bob Evan’s Farm Shelter House.
The public is welcome and all veterans are encouraged to attend the yearly event to be recognized.
This event was started in 1870 by the village residents to honor returning United States soldiers who had served in the Civil War (1861-1865). This Civil War tradition welcomed those who “may have had ties with the Confederacy” and “all men of color.” Late 19th century fare consisted of strong and bitter black coffee, hardtack and soup beans cooked over a wood-fed fire, similar to soldier foods eaten in the recent war. Today, the Civil War beans will be supplemented by homemade cornbread, homemade pies, Bob Evans sausage sandwiches, iced water, coffee and soft drinks. Additional charges occur for foods and drinks beyond the basic water, coffee and beans.
“There will be good food, musical entertainment, a history of the Civil War event and unparalleled fellowship,” said area historian C. Robert Leith.
All veterans and first responders are welcome and admitted free of charge. Admission prices for the general public are as follows: 10 year of age and older have admission fees of $4. Those nine years of age and under are admitted free. Attenders may take beans home with them for an additional fee of $5 per bucket.
Although the last Civil War veteran passed away in 1959 at the age of 117, according to Leith, the tradition in honoring veterans continues in Rio Grande. Further information can be received by calling David Smalley at 740-709-4971 or Clark Walker at the Bob Evans Farm Office at 740-245-5305. The Rio Grande Memorial Association says it hopes to see all at “this most significant and historic event.” The association has expanded its program and displays to hold to a “truer Civil War environment.”