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Burro barbecue serves up good food (no burros)

April 8, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — The 68th annual Burro Barbecue was held Saturday at Rotary Park in Bullhead City. Even though it turned windy by the afternoon — and topped out at 96 degrees — event volunteers kept working and their guests persisted in having loads of fun.

It has been decades since a burro made the ultimate sacrifice and ended up as the main course of what was known as the Wild Burro Barbecue. Since the early 1970s, the barbecues have featured a choice of beef or pork, slow-cooked on an open pit over cedar wood cut by members of the Bullhead City Rotary Club.

Hot dogs also were available.

This Rotary fundraiser included classic and antique cars as well as waterslides and a bounce house. A Kids Corner was operated by the Interact Club, the Mohave High School youth group connected to Rotary International. It exists to foster leadership qualities among local youths. Mohave Accelerated Learning Center also has an Interact Club.

Rotarian Scott Merrill, who chaired the club’s barbecue efforts, said the MHS Interact members play an integral role in making the family event successful.

“They have been a huge help,” Merrill said.

Some other groups that provide community service set up booths next to the Rotarians’ picnic area, including the Mohave County Sheriff K-9 Foundation and the MHS Culinary Program, where people could purchase baked goods to enjoy after fully digesting plates of barbecue — or as an appetizer.

Along with the cost of food and beverages, youths could have unlimited access to a waterslide all day for $10.

Rotarians fund improvements to Rotary Park; finance scholarships for local high school seniors; fund a leadership camp as well as an exchange program for high school students; and provide dictionaries to elementary schools.

The club also provides money to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, which provides vocational training, polio vaccinations to children worldwide, and builds drinking water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

There are 37 Rotarians in the Bullhead City service organization.

“We would really like to have more members,” Merrill said.

The burro barbecue is one of the local Rotary’s largest fundraising efforts of each year. The club meets at noon on Thursdays at the Chaparral County Club, 1260 Mohave Drive.