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St. Patrick Irish Picnic and Homecoming in McEwen, TN is an annual event regularly attended by over 20,000 fun-loving people from across the nation. Originating in 1854, the picnic is known for its famous barbecue pork and the secret sauce than ranks it among the most delectable barbecue ever tasted. The first Irish Picnic was held to raise funds for a new church bell for St. Patrick Church. Local farmers donated pigs and sheep for the fundraising meals that fed the railroad community of McEwen. Efforts were so successful that generations of church members and other volunteers have turned it into a community project with proceeds being used for the financial support of St. Patrick School.

A heaping pile of bbq meats.The ingredients of the legendary hot sauce is known to only one church member, Frank Walsh, whose family brought it with them from Ireland. The closely guarded recipe is kept under lock and key and one day be passed to his sons. A 300 gallon kettle is used to make the secret sauce.

The Irish picnic is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records (1988) as the world’s largest outdoor barbecue. “Cead Mile Failte” or “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes” is an old Irish greeting and the Irish Picnic theme. And “welcome” is exactly what visitors will feel when they come for the food, music, dancing, games & homespun fun at the Irish Picnic and Homecoming.

The Picnic will have  whole shoulders, sauce, souvenirs and tickets available for sale. Due to Covid-19, this year’s event will only be one day, and there won’t be games or live bands.


Go to www.irishpicnic.com for more info or to order product.

Please stand by for further information or email vicki.james@sps-tn.org for further information.