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Salmon Supper survives test of time

Jul 27, 2017 07:34PM
PAYSON – The 63rd annual Payson Salmon Supper is set for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at Payson City Memorial Park, 300 S. Main.

Fire pits are started at noon, so coals get “good and hot,” Janeen Dean told Serve Daily. Dean is the City of Payson’s events coordinator. The town’s volunteer firefighters grill huge chunks salmon over Applewood coals. The only addition: a bit of salt.

The portions “are bigger than you’d ever receive in a restaurant,” Dean said. “It’s worth your time to stand in line to receive a dinner.”

A dinner includes a baked potato, corn on the cob, cole slaw, roll and cookie in addition to Alaskan farm-raised salmon “grilled over dried fruitwood fires,” according to a poster promoting the event. Cost: $16/person.

“It’s just a huge community event,” Dean said. High school cheerleaders and drill team members rotate each year between washing and wrapping potatoes, and chopping cabbage and making cole slaw. Members of the high school football team set out (and later, put away) the dozens of tables and hundreds of chairs needed for the popular community event.

Many community members – including the Lions Club – also serve every year, setting the tables, taking tickets, cleaning up between guests.

“They’ve all done it for years,” Dean said. “They know what to do. It all goes very smoothly.” Entertainment changes each year. It’s always local talent; this year it’s mostly singers with 30 to 60-minute performance times.

“We’ll also have a children’s group and the local theater group promoting their upcoming ‘The Addams Family,’” Dean said. “Miss Payson always closes, and she’s a dancer.”

(Payson Community Theater’s production of “The Addams Family” is set for Aug. 24-26, 31, and Sept. 1, 2 and 6.)

Payson’s Salmon Supper started in 1954, when men from a local church went fishing in Alaska and caught so much they decided to share it. The event grew from there, to a point that the city was asked to take it over.

Everyone is welcome, Dean said. See PaysonUtah.org for ticket information.