If you’ve had a raging desire to eat yak, you won’t want to miss the 32nd annual Wild Game Dinner hosted by the Waconia Lions Club at the Lake Waconia Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and hors d’oeuvres will be served sometime after 4 p.m. After a large majority of attendees have gone through that line, dinner will be served, ending around 7:30 p.m.
As always, the event features gun and cash raffles, a silent auction, door prizes, live music and of course, plenty of mouth-watering wild game.
“We’re going to have a lot of the staple items on our appetizer table,” said Lion Jon Schuler, who is serving on the Wild Game Dinner Committee. “We’ll have several types of sunfish, buffalo meatballs and elk meatballs, pheasant wild rice soup, pheasant pate and blackened catfish, which is always a popular item.”
Other appetizers include smoked salmon and rolled elk. On the dinner line, attendees will enjoy pheasant stir fry, elk and pea pods, deep fried walleye, creamed rabbit and wild rice. A variety of items made out of venison — including brats, summer sausage, sticks and jerky — will also be on the menu.
“We always try to do a couple of unique things,” Schuler noted. “Yak is going to be one of them. The other thing we’re looking at is ostrich eggs. We’re also looking at some sort of chocolate covered bug.”
All of the food, no matter how exotic, is prepared by Lions Club members.
“There’s a number of cooks and chefs in the group who have the knowledge to whip things together and make it taste good,” said Schuler, who noted that the dinner is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the club.
“The Wild Game Dinner brings in anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 a year and 100 percent of that is given back to the community,” he said. “It’s a great event for the community to come out and support.”
More than 550 people attend the event, which is manned by the Lions and other volunteers.
“Just about every (member of the club) shows up. It’s the one day out of the year if you’re a Lion, you’re there helping make it successful,” Schuler said. “People come from all over. We have a group from South Dakota that comes every year. There’s a very strong following of people who continue to come and keep it successful.”
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Tickets are available at Bob’s Barber Shop, Hardware Hank, Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Waconia Ford or by calling (612) 810-0410. The “BIG” raffle, which sold out last year, includes more than 125 items, including more than 20 guns. Three $100 door prizes will be awarded during the evening. The live music features Clark Machtemes, Peter Gustafson and Tim Berry of Traveled Ground.
“It should be another good year,” Schuler said. “The Wild Game Dinner started off small 32 years ago, but it has grown and now it’s our number one fundraiser.”
Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]