Food round up: World’s largest chicken barbecue canceled, European-style restaurants open

Paula Wolf//March 14, 2023

Food round up: World’s largest chicken barbecue canceled, European-style restaurants open

Paula Wolf//March 14, 2023

The Civitas Lancaster annual chicken barbecue at Long’s Park has been canceled, with organizers citing increased costs, decreased demand and a lack of volunteers.

Hailed as the world’s largest chicken barbecue, the spring event – which began in 1953 – was suspended this year and for the foreseeable future, according to a post on the Civitas Lancaster website.

President Nicki Nafziger said in the post that “this was a very difficult decision for us to make because so many people have been a part of this for decades. But it no longer makes financial sense for us to expend the effort it takes to run this huge undertaking for the small return we are now generating.”

Increased food costs and the loss of key sponsors have significantly cut into the amount of net money raised at the barbecue, she explained. “We would like to thank everyone who ever donated to, volunteered for or sponsored our event. It holds the record for the largest one-day chicken barbecue and we’re very proud of that.”

Nafziger emphasized that Civitas Lancaster, which was Sertoma Lancaster before rebranding, is in financially sound shape, and will continue to support Long’s Park and other community nonprofits.

Italian, French restaurants open

There was also recent good news on the food front, too.

Luna Italian Cuisine restaurant opened March 6 in Mechanicsburg, at 100 Legacy Park Drive, Suite 2. According to its website, it “specializes in gourmet Italian foods curated by only the finest chefs in the area. We also feature a Euro-modern cocktail bar and host the area’s only after-hours Disco Pub.”

The menu (reservations are required) features an array of pasta, meat and fish dishes, pizza and antipasti.

Chef de Crepes has also relocated to from Mechanicsburg to a larger venue at 2017 Market St., Camp Hill.

The creperie run by the Cheverez family was inspired by their journeys to France. They opened in the summer of 2019 with a pop-up tent at vineyards. When COVID-19 hit, “we decided to get creative,” according to their website. The Cheverezes bought a food truck they dubbed Jean-Pierre and took it around central Pennsylvania, to increase mobility.

They then opened a creperie eatery – modeled after Laduree House in Paris – in December 2020, serving traditional and family-inspired crepes.

In just two years, the Cheverezes needed bigger quarters and have now moved from Mechanicsburg to Camp Hill.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer