People are Keen about Beans at the 128th McClure Bean Soup Festival

MCCLURE, Pa. -- With spoons in hand, people in Synder County could not scarf down their beloved bean soup fast enough at the 128th annual Bean Soup Festival in McClure.

It all started when Civil War veterans in Synder County threw the first Bean Soup Festival. The method of making the special soup hasn't changed since.

"All it has are these little holes and then you just stir back and forth," Cindy Tyson said of the large soup spoon she used.

The recipe for this soup goes all the way back to the 1880s. People we spoke to say the taste of the soup and the tradition has them coming back every year.

"We've been coming here for 50 years," Donnie Camp said. His wife Marge Camp quickly chimed in, "I've been coming here for 70 years because I'm from this area."

A lot of hard work goes into this tasty tradition.

"It takes three hours to make the bean soup, they have to soak beans, then add the meat and cook it and stir it. You have to stir it continuously because if you don't it will scorch," volunteer Betty Macknear said.

Even people who aren't so keen about beans keep coming back for more.

"I don't like beans, but I love this bean soup," Ortensia Phelps said.

The Bean Soup Festival continues in McClure through Saturday night.


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