AUXVASSE — It's almost time to come in from the cold, crack open a peanut and start reminiscing.
Loafer's Week is approaching soon. From Feb. 18-23, visit the Auxvasse Community Hall (117 S. Main St.) each day for free hot drinks and peanuts, cards and dominoes, neighborly gossip and tasty meals. Doors are open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., with a meal served at 11 a.m. The American Red Cross will set up shop at Grand Prairie Baptist Church on Feb. 19 from 2-6 p.m. for a blood drive.
Loafer's Week celebrates 59 years this year and is perhaps Auxvasse's longest-running tradition.
"(It) has become a reunion for a lot of people that were born and raised in the Auxvasse community and then moved away due to their jobs," said Donal Knipp, a participant since the tradition's start. "They return each year to see their friends."
Knipp was there 59 years ago at the first Loafer's Week, started by a pair of friends at the grain elevator to give farmers something to do at the end of winter before spring planting.
Loafer's grew over the years as more people started participating. Free peanuts and coffee are an integral part — just toss the shells on the floor.
"We'd try to leave them on the floor the whole week, though we'd sweep them up if they got too deep," Knipp said in 2017.
Then people started bringing doughnuts. Now, local charity groups and organizations provide daily lunches for a small price, which serves as a fundraiser. While the grain elevator has long since burned down, the tradition lives on.
Knipp's family will serve the first meal, a spaghetti luncheon, Feb. 18. Subsequently, Callaway Bank will serve fried chicken; the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be dishing out ham and beans; Auxvasse Community Center will offer turkey and all the fixins; and the Mexico Go Gitters will serve pork loin. As tradition, the week closes out with all-you-can-eat pancakes, freshly flipped by the Auxvasse Lions Club, from 8 a.m. to noon. Prices vary.
Meal tickets will be entered into a drawing for two $25 cash gifts donated by the United Security Bank. The Auxvasse Community Hall will also be holding a 50/50 raffle all week. The winning names will be drawn and gifts given on Feb. 23. You do not have to be present to win.
For more information, call Knipp at 573-386-5175.