Pike Lake Salmonfest still going strong in its 29th yearSalmonfest will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at 5611 Martin Road. Cost is $13 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and younger. Call 729-8445 or 729-8346 if you have any questions.
By: Sarah Packingham, Budgeteer News
Pike Lake Community Presbyterian Church is hosting its 29th annual Salmonfest Dinner on Sunday, Aug. 15.
Warren Lundeen, a church member who has been working on the dinner since it first began, said he still enjoys working on it to this day.
“I’ve been involved since back when we started this thing,” Lundeen reminisced. “It started out as a fish outdoor barbecue and we invited people and they came.”
Lundeen said the next year people came again and, before long, it was a regular summer event for the church and the name was changed to Salmonfest.
As time went on, Lundeen and other members knew there were projects that needed financial help; so, with that, it was decided that profits from the dinner would go to the Agape House of Hope.
The house opened its doors in 1986 and provided a shelter to those visiting family members who were incarcerated in the Duluth federal prison.
The house was willed to the church by Hope Lindeman and is located on North Pike Lake Road.
“On the weekend the wives and kids would like to come up and see their relatives in the prison camp,” Lundeen said. “The Agape House of Hope developed as a place for them to say.”
Nearly 10,000 family members have stayed at the house since its doors opened in 1986.
The house can comfortably accommodate between eight and 10 people at a time.
Salmonfest is the main source of fundraising for the house each year.
The menu for Salmonfest includes: salmon, roast beef, a California mix, red potatoes, cabbage salad, rolls, dessert and milk.
Since the event began, the church has done its best to keep the prices reasonable and not change too much from year to year.
When the price does change, Lundeen said, it’s due to the change in salmon prices.
The salmon served is fresh and imported from Alaska. It is marinated and spiced and cooked just right for all in attendance to enjoy, Lundeen added.
The Pike Lake Dairy Queen also brings a portable ice cream station to the church and makes various ice cream treats by request.
All profits from the ice cream treats go to the Agape House of Hope.
Lundeen said that money is raised throughout each week of the year to help fund the project. Besides monetary support, members of the church community are very involved in the dinner process.
It’s not just making and serving the food that is important, it’s the behind the scenes work like getting the salmon and selling tickets that is vital to the event’s success.
Lundeen works on getting approximately 400 tickets printed and distributes them to other church members to sell ahead of time.
The day of the event, between 30 and 40 church and community members show up to help set up, cook, clean and do whatever tasks are needed, Lundeen said.
The event is scheduled to be held outside with live music and entertainment, but if there is any chance of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside.
Lundeen said that as the event continues and committee members get older, he hopes younger church members get involved.
“It’s one of the best do-good projects around,” he said. “It’s for a good purpose and the food is great.”
Frequent Budgeteer contributor Sarah Packingham can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.