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An Arkansas tradition continues with Gillett Coon Supper

An Arkansas tradition continues with Gillett Coon Supper. (Courtesy: KATV)

GILLETTE, Ark. (KATV) -- Every January, Arkansas politicians find their way to a high school gym in the town of Gillett.

The annual Gillett Coon Supper is a tradition that dates back to 76 years.

If you want to run for office in Arkansas, you better have an appetite for raccoon.

"I am a fan of the delicacy. As long as you have barbecue sauce on there, it's really good," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

Hundreds fill the gym at Gillett Elementary School, not only to eat the unique main dish, but also to raise money for the town's college-bound students.

The event brings out many familiar faces each year, including the governor.

"What makes it special is it represents the small communities of our state where they raise scholarship money from those who come from Gillett," Gov. Hutchinson said. "Second of all, it's politics. It's an expectation."

Even in fun times, the elephant in the room was the government shutdown.

Sen. Tom Cotton weighs in as day 22 comes to a close.

"Our president is ready to negotiate to secure our border and get the rest of the government open again," he said. "I hope to have a breakthrough next week."

Saturday's dinner was put on by the Gillett Farmers and Businessmen’s Club.

Organizers say more than 500 tickets were sold with money raised benefiting students in Gillett.

The raccoons for the supper are purchased from area hunters.

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