We meat again

Annual Meat Ball takes things up a notch.

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The fifth annual Meat Ball at the Ag Hall Saturday night was a hit again this year, as hundreds of Island meat lovers turned out to dance, eat, and be merry.

There were many delicacies available at the Meat Ball, including roasted pork belly, tender beef, and endless tasty sides like cilantro, pickled onions, and kale with black beans and corn.

Hungry folks took their time getting to each serving station to have a sample of some hearty Vineyard fare with plenty of protein.

Jefferson Monroe of the GOOD Farm in Vineyard Haven prepared all the delicious food. Some meat and veggies were purchased by the Ag Society from local farmers, and some farmers chose to donate food. All proceeds from the event benefit the Ag Society and its many community-oriented events and programs.

Admission to the event was $20 for adults, and $10 for kids ages 5 and up, with kids younger than 5 admitted free. Because the event has sold out quickly in previous years, Ag Society members were allowed to reserve tickets ahead of time, which about 30 members took advantage of.

The line for all the stations extended down to near the entrance to the Ag Hall, as people got back in line for seconds and thirds. Vice president of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Garrison Vieira was standing at his serving table donning a smile and a spoon, providing plentiful portions of turkey green chili to passersby.

Tables slowly filled in the main hall as more and more Islanders filtered in, and the Space Invaders took the stage to play a medley of good dance tunes.

For this year’s Meat Ball, president of the Ag Society Brian Athearn said the society wanted to take it up a notch and provide as much food as they could.

Last year, Athearn said there was such a great turnout, there wasn’t quite enough food to go around. Every year, Athearn said, the event gets more popular and features different types of dishes every time — still centered around meat, of course.

Athearn said the society tries to have a fun community event every month, and this one seems to be a smash hit.

“This is just a really great community gathering. Everyone is eating and enjoying themselves,” he said. “We really wanted to make it about good company and good food.”

Vice president of the society Julie Scott told The Times in an email that she received rave reviews from many in attendance. “Everyone said the food was out of this world,” Scott said. “But there are still some people who are disappointed there are no meatballs.”

Scott said people young and old enjoyed themselves and got to fill their plates with good food, and their tables with good friends. She expressed gratitude for all those involved, and said she looks forward to next year’s Meat Ball.