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Aneta, N.D., celebration for turkeys turns 50

There something that seems to almost mesmerize people when they see hundreds of turkeys slow-roasting in the Aneta, N.D., City Park for the town's annual turkey barbecue. Perhaps it's the motion of the birds on the spits. Maybe it's the delicious smell.

"You see people standing there, just watching the turkeys go around and around," said Deb Johnson of the Aneta Booster Club.

Whatever the reason, Johnson and other organizers of the 50th annual Aneta Turkey Barbecue and Summer Festival Friday through June 20 hope lots of people will come to see what's happening in their town.

The actual barbecue is served from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 19. More than 300 birds will be roasted over hot coals, and there will be six serving lines to make the service as speedy as possible. Dinner music will include the Chuck Gust band. Tickets for the dinner will be $9 for adults, $4 for 12 and younger and free for preschoolers.

But there will be other events as well, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a Talent Show in the auditorium. Pat's Buffet will serve from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the American Legion Club, and there will be a dance with live music beginning at 9 p.m. at the White Tail Bar.

No one in Aneta on June 19 should go hungry. In addition to the turkey barbecue from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the city park, there will be a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Sundahl Lutheran Church and the WELCA Lunchstand serving from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. in the auditorium basement.

Also on June 19, there will be inflatables, rides and games, and an arts and crafts show from noon to 8 p.m. in the Aneta Pavilion. The Main Street parade will begin at 3 p.m. It will feature the Khartum Temple Pipes and Drums of Winnipeg. The group also will perform at the turkey barbecue.

The Dixie Cups, featuring Jeanine Brown and Melanie Mewes of Colgate, N.D., and Deb Davis, Fargo, will sing at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The trio first sang together 19 years ago at a variety show in Hope, N.D., and have been performing '50s and '60s music, country and gospel favorites ever since.

June 19 will end two dances, both from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring live music at the White Tail Bar and the Chuck Gust Band at the American Legion Club.

An All-Faith Service at 10 a.m. June 20 in the Aneta park will wrap up the festival.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to