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Wadena Rotary park feed is top notch

From the moment I plopped down next to a busy group of Rotarians in Burlington Northern Park Thursday, I knew they meant business.

Rotarians and other community volunteers were setting up shop for the 46th annual Corn and Chicken Feed.

As I picked up my first ear of corn to shuck, other volunteers quickly moved about, delivering armfuls of corn to work areas and piling finished cobs onto a tarp. The whole operation was really quite impressive...and fun.

Volunteers also ended up getting the corn ready to be cooked ahead of schedule, leaving everyone with plenty of time to fire up the burners for beans and chicken, set up tables and unpack supplies.

For many, the thought of getting up at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for a community feed may sound painful, but spending the morning hours with fellow community members was a blast. OK, I'll admit I wasn't among the first Rotarians on scene Thursday. But when I strolled in at 8 a.m., I felt awake and ready to work.

I've been to a number of community feeds throughout the years, where patrons have served up your typical hot dogs, hamburgers and steak. But I must say Wadena's Corn and Chicken Feed is at the top of the list when it comes to honoring a strong community tradition.

For me, it's always been interesting to see how food brings people together. When I think about it, a lot of my most enjoyable conversations and bonding moments have taken place with family and friends around the dinner table, at a picnic or at a restaurant.

Plus, I find events like the Corn and Chicken Feed to be enjoyable because you get to eat summer comfort food outdoors. After spending so many months cooped up inside the house to evade frigid winter temperatures, it's tempting to spend as much time outside as possible during the summer.

It really is wonderful that Wadena has such an event. When you think about it, it's a great way to bring people together to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for. The new WDC school building is one victory, while continued day-by-day tornado recuperation is another.

And hey, I'm sure some people attend the Corn and Chicken Feed simply because they're hungry and could use some fresh air. Regardless of why people made it out to Burlington Northern Park on Thursday, I am just happy to see such strong camaraderie within the community.