McClure Bean Soup Festival and Fair

East Ohio Street
Mc Clure, PA 17841

570-898-2032

History:

McClure, Pennsylvania is proud of its living memorial to all veterans of all wars in the annually held Bean Soup Celebration started by the Veterans of the Civil War of McClure and surrounding vicinities.
On July 23, 1883, a group of veterans of the Civil War met on the second story of the Joseph Peters Blacksmith Shop in Bannerville, PA, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Army of the Republic Post. After several preliminary meetings, the first session of the newly formed post was held on October 20, 1883.

This organization held many get-togethers and observed "bean soup festivals" from time to time, but not until 1891 did this Bean Soup Celebration invite the public to a real Civil War bean soup dinner.Records show Comrade Ner B. Middleswarth was the chairman in charge of this celebration and secured from the war department "real hard tack" to be served with the bean soup. Comrade Henry Kahley, who was a cook in the Civil War was in charge of the soup, assisted by another veteran, Comrade Aaron Bickel.  From 1891 on, the thinning of the ranks in the early 1900's caused then to feel that the celebration should be carried on by their sons.
After that, the Henry K. Ritter Camp #65 Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War and citizens of McClure, and from 1937 on, the McClure Realty Corporation have put forth the effort to present this novel celebration which  uses tons of  beans, a ton of beef and a ton of crackers to serve the tens of thousands who attend each year. The making of the soup in large iron kettles is done over a wood-fired battery of furnaces capable of handling 16 large, 35 gallon capacity kettles at one time. Each man stirs two of the kettles during two hours and twenty minute shifts.After seeing it being made and partaking in the main attraction of eating some soup, one can enjoy the many varied attractions which have been added including amusements, rides, concessions, displays, parades,, fireworks, Civil War re-enactors, Free gate, and Free nightly entertainment.

We were officially notified by Pennsylvania Sectretary of Agriculture Wolff that as of June 30, 2008, we are the McClure Bean Soup Fair.Over 75,000 of your friends and neighbors attend the Bean Soup annually! 

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