Visitation Church, northwest of Forest Grove, will welcome diners for its 85th annual community dinner.

COURTESY PHOTO: VISITATION CATHOLIC CHURCH - The Verboort Sausage and Sauerkraut Community Dinner is one of the region's most beloved, and popular, traditions. In recent years, as many as 8,000 dinners have been served on a single day.It's that time of year again...

Yes, there's Halloween next Thursday, Oct. 31. Yes, that's Christmas music you heard at the grocery store the other day. (It gets earlier and earlier every year, doesn't it?)

But also, it's the time of year when the little community of Verboort, just northwest of Forest Grove, welcomes visitors from far and wide for its famed Sausage and Sauerkraut Community Dinner, which will be held next Saturday, Nov. 2.

This is the 85th year of the Verboort tradition. It started in 1934, bringing homesteaders and other residents of the town together at the height of the Great Depression.

But it's grown from those humble origins.

Organizers of the Verboort Sausage Dinner say back in 1934, they served "just" 198 pounds of sausage — plenty, no doubt, for the 150 people who came to dinner that day, but a fraction of the 15 tons of sausage that's being prepared for Saturday's event.

Dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. beneath the giant sequoia trees at Visitation Church, located at 4285 N.W. Visitation Road.

Before that, wurst-lovers will line up by the dozens for bulk sausage, which will be sold on the grounds. Organizers strongly suggest coming as early as 8 a.m. if you want to buy sausage to take home and cook up later, since they usually sell out of bulk sausage by mid-morning.

In addition to sausage, don't skip the famous sauerkraut — it's a classic pairing, after all — or another old-time tradition, homestyle applesauce.

Dinner tickets will be sold starting at 10 a.m. Once you get your ticket, you can stroll the wooded grounds as you wait for your meal to be prepared. Once your dinner is ready, your number will be called. Patrons 21 and older can also enjoy the on-site beer garden starting at noon.

Although minors aren't allowed inside the beer garden, families are welcome at the dinner. Children under 5 can eat for free.

Verboort was one of the earliest communities established in the Tualatin Valley after the arrival of American settlers on the Oregon Trail. According to local lore, the sequoias that shade the church grounds were planted from seeds taken from California during the 1849 gold rush.

For more information, visit the Community of Verboort's website.

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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