St. Pat’s Day means beef, pork and slaw |

St. Pat’s Day means beef, pork and slaw

Tim Mutrie

For the 112th time, St. Patrick’s Day in Aspen will bring thecommunity together for a feast at St. Mary’s Church to celebratethe Irish holiday. Indisputably the oldest continuous event in Aspen, Wednesday’sfeast will feature exactly what it did a century ago – ol’ fashionedIrish fare in large quantities. This year, the church is preparingto serve up 300 pounds of roast beef and a like measure of roastpork, 600 pounds of mashed potatoes and 600 pounds of its “famouscoleslaw,” along with vegetables and locally baked bread and rolls.No, corned beef and cabbage are not on the menu. That’s becausewhen the event was first conceived and the traditions establishedmore than a century ago, Irish folk favored roast beef and pork.”You don’t have to be Catholic, you don’t even have to be Irishto come,” quipped John Vogel, the event’s co-chairperson. Everyoneis welcome, he said.The dinner, which expected is expected to draw some 700 people,will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church on MainStreet.”It’s family style, so we serve people after they’re seated attables,” Vogel said. “It’s a great chance to meet people and tosee people for locals and visitors alike.”The dinner costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12,and all proceeds will go toward renovating the parish rectory.Vogel said he expects the church to raise about $5,000 from thedinner.But the dinner is more a community effort than it is a fund-raiserfor the church, Vogel said.”We get a lot of volunteers from the parish and the church, aswell as from people who live nearby, so it’s a real communityevent,” he said. In addition, about a dozen local restaurants help out by preparingsome of the vast quantities of food needed for the dinner, Vogelsaid.”We call the dinner the Miracle of St. Mary’s,” said Vogel, “becausewhen we were under construction a few years ago, we were switchingkitchens and we got the whole thing up and running on St. Patrick’sDay, when everybody said it couldn’t happen.”And a few years ago, when we were renovating at the church, weheld the dinner at the Elk’s Club, so no matter what’s going on,we make this event happen,” he said.The St. Patrick’s Day dinner has gone on relatively unchangedover the years, though time has had some effect, Vogel said.”It’s just gotten better,” he said.

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