Since 1970. Burgoo is a traditional pioneer dish, a kind of stew that gives the festival its name. The theme of this festival is traditional food, and many varieties of homemade pies and other dishes are always festival favorites. Early versions of burgoo were made with wild game such as venison or squirrel, and whatever the pioneers grew. Current state health laws prevent selling soup made from game. For this local Burgoo festival the ingredients are beef, carrots, potatoes, hominy, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, and other vegetables carefully blended with special spices and herbs. It is cooked outdoors for between 12 and 18 hours over a wood-burning fire that gives it a special taste. Squads of volunteer vegetable choppers and kettle stirrers spend the night preparing this pioneer dish. According to veteran “burgoomeisters,” there are many different recipes for burgoo. Most are well protected secrets, guarded by “burgoomeisters” who are in charge of the day-long preparation and cooking.