The Heisler Community Sausage Supper

Battle River Train Excursions are so proud to be able to take part in such a long-running, community event that celebrates small-town spirit.

This is an excerpt of a submission by Wanda Hihn from the Heisler History Book:

The Heisler Catholic Women’s League Sausage Supper began in 1956 after remarks around town about being tired of eating chicken, forced the Annual Fowl Supper to take a bit of a turn. Mrs. Louise Blaser made a motion that we serve homemade sausage instead of chicken at the annual supper.  Mrs. Leander Lang seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

And so it began….

At the first supper, 2 pigs, weighing 335 and 350 pounds, plus 12 pounds of hamburger were used.  The price paid for the pigs was 14 cents per pound.  30 pounds of leftover sausage were sold for 45 cents a pound.  Sauerkraut was also made.  Potatoes, salad, applesauce, corn, pies, cream, coffee, butter, and pickles were all donated by members of the church community.  The price charged per meal was 75 cents for adults (a motion to charge a dollar was defeated) and 35 cents for kids.

In October of 1980, the CWL celebrated the 25th Annual Sausage Supper by giving every 25th person a tray of sausage.

Some things have not changed over the years.  The supper has always been held on the last Sunday of October and much to the dismay of trick or treaters, on occasion Halloween has been rescheduled in Heisler.  Another thing that hasn’t changed is the tradition of making the saurkraut in the church basement weeks prior to the supper.  The saurkraut has always been a popular item to buy after the supper has concluded.

In the Spring of 2016, the annual vote at the CWL meeting to host the Sausage Supper was defeated.  Upon hearing the news that the supper would not continue under the leadership of the CWL, a group of concerned citizens came together hoping to continue the legacy of the Sausage Supper.  A public meeting was held in the Community Hall in August of 2016 with a large turnout.  From this meeting, it was determined that the community did not want to see the supper end.  Volunteers signed up and the new Heisler Sausage Supper Committee was formed.  With tremendous community support, the 61st Annual Sausage Supper was held on October 30, 2016.  Approximately 625 supper tickets were sold.  Regulars come back year after year from many places.

Even though many things have changed from October 1956 to October 2016, the spirit of this community remains the same.  Many willing hands help out, year after year, to make this supper a huge success.  We are proof that when a small community like ours works together, good things can happen. It is the hope of the committee and community that the supper will continue for many years to come.