The Ladies Altar Society at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church at Lake Village is preparing the annual spaghetti dinner, a tradition that began 113 years ago.
This year's spaghetti dinner will be March 5 with the drive-thru starting at 8 a.m. Reserved tables will also be available inside the facility.
The society is looking to beat last year's historic turn out. Proceeds from the fundraiser go back into the parish and community, providing donations for parish upkeep and scholarships for local children, according to a news release.
"One hundred thirteen years is a long time. A time before a phone in every home, let alone every pocket. A time when most were walking or driving a horse and buggy to get where they needed to be. And a time when the Italian population of Lake Village started serving Spaghetti Dinner at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church," said Brandi Skidmore, vice president for the Ladies Altar Society at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church at Lake Village.
"The spaghetti dinner was started by immigrants, outsiders to the Delta just like me. It wasn't long after the original Italians arrived that the spaghetti dinner began. Many of the descendants of those immigrants are still here, serving homemade spaghetti the first Sunday of March, keeping traditions going in an era unimaginable for those original families," Skidmore said.
"So it makes sense that I'd be swept up and included. Unlike many people in the Delta, my family wasn't around 113 years ago. We weren't even here two years ago. We transplanted to the Delta; and, honestly, struggling with some things: how far I have to drive to go anywhere, how slow my favorite delivery service seems, how big the bugs are. Especially the bugs.
"But, mosquitoes aside, there's so much good here: the people who have taken us into their lives, the long stretches of nothing on a drive, the sunsets, and the traditions. Here in the Delta, we're big on traditions. And the spaghetti dinner is a big one," she said.
One of those traditions is the spaghetti dinner, which takes long-range planning.
"The Ladies Altar Society gathers for months ahead of time to prepare, with the help of the men of the parish. Two days of bread making in January, producing 400 loaves of homemade bread. Enough homemade pasta to feed 2,000 people made in February. Four thousand meatballs the following week. Cakes baked. Drive-thru pick up organized. Tables set up, no plastic table cloths for us!
"A legion of volunteers to serve our community. Everything homemade, with an eye toward tradition 113 years in the making. And right in the middle of it all, this new-to-the-Delta-outsider, being brought in and made part of the community kneading dough, cutting pasta, and shaping meatballs," Skidmore said. "Maybe 113 years isn't that long when you're keeping a Delta tradition alive."
This year's spaghetti dinner will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 5 in the parish hall, according to https://www.dolr.org/events/113th-annual-our-lady-lake-altar-society-spaghetti-dinner.
Drive-thru and carryout plates will be available, and dine-in seating is limited. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. There are some reserved tables but people need to call for details, according to Skidmore. To purchase tickets, call (214) 533-0227 or (870) 489-2883.