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Tradition: Chelsea Kiwanis food trailer at the Chelsea Community Fair

File photo. Chelsea Kiwanis food trailer at the Chelsea Relay for Life.
File photo. Chelsea Kiwanis food trailer at the Chelsea Relay for Life.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Ray Kemner and Sam Vogel for the information in this story.)

Surely, you’ve had a hotdog or knockwurst (or 10 or 20) that’s been prepared by the Chelsea Kiwanis (or perhaps the Chelsea Athletic Boosters at a Chelsea High School football game) at the Chelsea Community Fair.

But did you know the history behind their knockwurst stand?

In 1974, Kiwanis began its knockwurst stand business, which has become the main source of income for the club and its trademark for the past 40 years. And at fair, it’s always located near the Main Arena where hungry demo derby and tractor pull fans stand in line for hotdogs, soda and snacks.

In the early days, the Kiwanis partnered with Hans Sausages in Stockbridge and then stepped out on its own, according to a history of the Kiwanis written by Sam Vogel. 

First in a tent, than in a homemade wood hut, and then in 1977, the club got its first sausage trailer, which was a 1950’s converted house trailer. Earl Heller rewired it and Norm Bauer painted it, Vogel says.Over the years, as the inside became dirty and marred, they added another later of white Formica paneling to the walls.

In 2001, thanks to the Barth Estate and the work of former Kiwanian Jay Parisho, the club acquired its first state-of-the-art (and current) concession stand.

In the fall of 2001, Kiwanis teamed up with the Chelsea Athletic Boosters for concession sales and the trailer can still be found at the high school football field on game days.

Below is a menu of what to expect and the prices at this year’s fair. Kiwanis members will be grilled and serving starting both on Sunday, Aug. 17 and Monday, Aug. 18 during the free tractor pulling events, as well as throughout the week of fair.

I can’t wait.

KIWANIS-FOOD-PRICES-2014

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