Thanksgiving tradition brings hundreds to Pep, TX
The 74th annual festival at St. Philip Neri Catholic church featured unique foods that nod to the community's German heritage.
Pep, Texas has a population you could count using your 2 hands. But every Thanksgiving, even on a frosty day, hundreds of people travel here from all over the state, and beyond.
On Thursday, the line was out the door at St. Philip Neri Catholic church off of highway 303.
The people who come every year say, the home-cooked meal is always worth the trip.
"We always have a big crowd, because we always have good food," Lydia Green said.
It began in 1945 as a welcome home celebration for soldiers returning from WWII. Nowadays, it is a family affair, with all hands on deck to keep the tradition alive.
Anna Belle Walker has been to every single festival, all 74 of them.
"It's a lot of work. Our kids all come home and help make the sausage, and we couldn't put it on without them," Walker said. "I love it because I see people every year, just once a year. People that used to live here, it's very exciting."
What makes this Thanksgiving tradition so special is not just about where it takes place, but also what is on the plate. The German sausage and sauerkraut is something that folks look forward to every year.
"My favorite part of the meal was everything, it's always delicious. Everything's always great and made with love, you can't go wrong with that," Elizabeth Baiza said.
The annual event is the only fundraiser for the church and shows no signs of slowing down.
"It seems like it gets bigger every year. So we just hope people keep coming," Green said.