Sertoma BBQ 2017

Lancaster Sertoma Club's annual chicken barbecue serves over 20,000 meals each year. This photo is from 2017.

The Sertoma Club's first chicken barbecue raised $137 in 1953. Last year, it raised about $118,000.

The annual event — the largest of its kind in the United States — returns to Long's Park this Saturday.

Here’s what you need to know.

What: 66th annual Sertoma Chicken BBQ

When: Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Long’s Park, 1441 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster

Why: Beneficiaries of the annual event include Long’s Park, Compass Mark’s Kids Kamp for children living with substance abuse, and hearing loss prevention and education programs for children in Head Start, according to event spokesman Steve Bortner.

How: Tickets are available in advance at Turkey Hill Minit Markets throughout Lancaster County and online at

How much: Meals are $10 in advance or $12 on Saturday.

What’s on the menu: Each dinner includes a chicken half, banana, dinner roll, bags of chips and pretzels, apple sauce cup, pack of licorice, ice cream cup and a cold drink. Beer, wine and cider from Mount Hope Estate & Winery will also be available for sale.

What’s new: A Family Fun Area complete with a bounce house, slide, obstacle course and petting zoo.

What’s the outlook: Accuweather is calling for clouds on Saturday, with an afternoon high of 78 degrees and a chance of showers or thunderstorms.

What if it rains: Event chairwoman Nicki Nafziger says the barbecue is held rain or shine. “People who don’t want to stay and eat at the park can drive through for quick and easy pick-up.”

What about construction on Harrisburg Pike: Nafziger says she does not expect major traffic delays. People can avoid driving into the park by parking on the Boscov’s side of Park City Center and taking the pedestrian tunnel under Route 30.

Why it’s a big deal: The Sertoma Club of Lancaster’s chicken barbecue has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the biggest event of its kind in the United States.

Sertoma BBQ 2016

Patrons sit on park benches to eat after the rain stopped during Sertoma Club of Lancaster's 64th annual chicken barbecue at Long's Park in Lancaster on Saturday, May 21, 2016.