Chuck Martin/News Karen Locke of the Walhonding Rube Band presents Ron Geese, complete with scepter, crown and sash, as the “Bean King” of the 151st Grand Army of the Republic Bean Dinner at McAlwee Park in New Castle, Sunday.

NEW CASTLE — The tradition started in 1867 when the Charles C. Nichols Post of the Grand Army of the Republic began holding an annual bean dinner to benefit the widows and orphans of those who had fought in the Civil War.

That tradition has been carried on by a local committee, who hold the dinner every year to pay for the upkeep of McAlwee Park in New Castle. They also support the efforts of the Blue Star Mother of Coshocton County, who help the Veterans Service Office pay for admission of veterans to the Coshocton County Fair and to support the Honor Flights of veterans to visit the war memorials in Washington D.C.

It has also become a central event for the Walhonding Rube Band, which each year honors a member by proclaiming him or her as the bean king or queen.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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