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December 29, 2013

Community Christmas dinner feeds more than 3,500

DUNCAN — Stephens County Christmas Dinner volunteers expected at least 3,000 people at the 25th annual meal but handled the pressure well when a total of 3,820 were served.

This total surpasses the 3,200 Stephens County residents who ate in 2011, which had the most ever until this year. Last year had a smaller number of people who ate with a total of 2,640 served. The meal is always served Christmas Day at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.

“A big (reason people came out this year) was the weather,” said Sonny Webb, Christmas Dinner board member. “It was beautiful outside, so people could get out.”

In 2012, the weather was cold and streets were covered in snow and ice, keeping many of those who normally attend the event at home. Though there were almost 4,000 people who ate this year, the 200 volunteers kept up with the pace.

“We got backed up a few times; there were no problems though,” said Webb. “It went very smooth and worked out really well.”

Despite much higher numbers than in the past, Webb said there was plenty of food, including the homemade desserts served every year. As usual, about half of the meals were take-out and half were eaten on location.

Those who eat at the fairgrounds many times spend hours catching up with friends they don’t see often.

“That’s what it’s all about is getting to see people,” Webb said.

Apart from the take-out and dine-in meals, food was also delivered to those who couldn’t make it. It was also taken to local fire departments, police departments and the Stephens County Jail so service men and women could eat a nice Christmas meal during their workday.

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