Walking around the 80-acre exhibit field and demo fields at Husker Harvest Days is sure to build up an appetite. Fortunately, you never have to look far to find a smorgasbord of food and drink options. All food vendors at the show are nonprofit organizations, so you can be sure the money you’re paying for your meal is going toward a good cause.
Here’s a quick rundown of the food vendors, and how the money raised at HHD will fund various school activities.
The Pork Place
Found in the southeast quadrant of the exhibit field, Lot 915, The Pork Place is operated by Sutton Christian Schools. It has become famous at HHD for its bacon burgers and smoked pork loin sandwiches. However, if that’s not enough to satisfy your hunger, you can always order a “Husker Burger.”
Introduced last year at the request of hungry farmers, the aptly named Husker Burger combines the sliced smoked loin sandwich and the bacon burger — a two-thirds pound sandwich.
The Pork Place has a number of other popular items on the menu, including coffee and hot cocoa to give you a jumpstart to your morning, and root beer floats, a popular treat on those hot Husker afternoons.
As a small school with an average of about 20 students, Sara Johnson, chair of the Pork Place committee at Sutton Christian Schools, notes the funds raised at HHD play a huge role.
“Sutton Christian is a very small school. We’re not a booster club, and the funds we raise don’t go toward athletics or extracurriculars. It goes toward paying teachers’ salaries, and it goes toward the general fund of the school,” Johnson says. “We average around 100 volunteers per year to get all of our shifts covered. Volunteers include students, teachers, parents and people that live in the community that want to support the school.”
The Eagle’s Nest
Located on Lot 734 in the southeast quadrant near the intersection of Central Avenue and Main Street, The Eagle’s Nest is operated by Wood River Rural Schools.
The vendor is known for its popular homemade breakfast sandwiches, cherry and apple turnovers, and cinnamon rolls, as well as personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut, and hamburgers and cheeseburgers hot off the grill.
The Eagle’s Nest is typically staffed by about 30 students from Wood River Rural Schools each day, with the same numbers of adults volunteering, including parents, teachers and alumni.
“Every year we try to invite a local celebrity to come out and help, and we try to make sure they have their presence well-known when they are at Husker Harvest Days,” says Jodi Rauert, Wood River Rural Schools Booster Club president.
These local celebrities have included Wood River’s mayor, and even a former Husker football player.
For Wood River Rural Schools, which includes 300 students from junior high through high school, the event plays a big role in funding extracurricular activities.
“This is our only fundraiser for the year,” Rauert adds. “This covers funding for everything from sporting events to plays to band to leadership seminars to any other extracurricular activity that might need help.”
Grand Island Central food stands
The Grand Island Central Catholic School offers two vendor locations — Fifth Street and Central Avenue, and Third Street and Central Avenue — so you can’t miss their stands when hunger strikes. They offer steak sandwiches, hamburgers, brats, ice cream and homemade pies.
More than 150 students and 225 parents, teachers, Knights of Columbus members and Central Catholic alumni work the stand every year, coordinator Sue Pirnie says. Funds raised through their efforts go to projects and organizations in the school system, such as the fine arts department, school foundation and student council.
The group takes vendor orders and makes deliveries all day. They also have a breakfast menu for those out at the show early, including sausage, egg and cheese muffins.
The Hula Hut
Operated by the Grand Island Senior High School Islander Athletic Booster Club, The Hula Hut is located on Lot 938. Well-known for its half-pound beef brisket sandwich, the stand also offers brats and half-pound hamburgers and cheeseburgers, as well as ice cream.
About 60 students and their parents volunteer at the food stand each year, coordinator John Wemhoff says. Students spend half-day shifts working at the stand, and their names go into a drawing for scholarships, he says.
All the funds raised through their stand go for activities at the senior high school, including athletics, cheerleading, dance team and various other school groups.
In addition to an expanded breakfast menu that now includes biscuits and sausage gravy and locally made breakfast burritos, The Hula Hut serves pulled chicken sandwiches.
This year, Old Country Kettle Corn will be available again, and there will be expanded seating and a shaded shelter. The stand takes vendor orders and will make deliveries.