About the Irish Picnic
St. Patrick Irish Picnic and Homecoming in McEwen, TN is an annualevent regularly attended by over 20,000 fun-loving people from acrossthe nation. Originating in 1854, the picnic is known for its famousbarbecue pork and the secret sauce than ranks it among the mostdelectable barbecue ever tasted. The first Irish Picnic was held toraise funds for a new church bell for St. Patrick Church. Local farmersdonated pigs and sheep for the fundraising meals that fed the railroadcommunity of McEwen. Efforts were so successful that generations ofchurch members and other volunteers have turned it into a communityproject with proceeds being used for the financial support of St.Patrick School.
Theingredients of the legendary hot sauce is known to only one churchmember, Frank Walsh, whose family brought it with them from Ireland.The closely guarded recipe is kept under lock and key and one day bepassed to his sons. A 300 gallon kettle is used to make the secretsauce.
The IrishPicnic is held the last Friday and Saturday in July. Early visitorsmay want to feast on the 4,200 chicken halves, which are prepared bylunchtime on Friday. Live music and dancing begins at 6:00 p.m. onFriday and at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday lasting all day. The Irish picnicis listed in The Guinness Book of World Records (1988)as the world’s largest outdoor barbecue. “Cead Mile Failte” or “OneHundred Thousand Welcomes” is an old Irish greeting and the Irish Picnictheme. And “welcome” is exactly what visitors will feel when theycome for the food, music, dancing, games & homespun fun at theIrish Picnic and Homecoming.