It's crunch time for volunteers at Saint Michael's Catholic Church in Levelland and everywhere you turn you can't miss the sight or smell of sausage. It's a scene that Albert Kahlich has been witness to for the past 20 years.
"All the families back years ago used to make sausage and of course when the church started they thought it would be a good gathering to get people together. About 20 years ago we decided it looked it might be better to have it for a community or area wide and also for a fundraiser and so it started 20 years ago and it keeps growing every year," says Kahlich.
For Kahlich, the Sausage Lovers Festival has always held special meaning. That's because in the past two decades one recipe in particular has been used in the making of the sausage and its one known only by Kahlich and select family members.
"It is my family recipe which has been handed down to me from my father and then his father gave it to him and so forth and so on," says Kahlich.
So year after year Kahlich has prepared the sausage without ever telling a soul the secret of his sausage success; not even members of his church.
"They know part of it. They know its good. That's all we want them to know," says Kahlich.
It was only this year that Kahlich finally shared the recipe with his daughter, Angela, and son, Greg.
"It's written down and he keeps it in a safe as my grandfather did and grandfather before him and its just my mother has kept it very well in a sealed plastic in a safe but yeah its kept in a secret spot," says Angela.
You see the secret was finally told because Kahlich was unsure if he would be able to continue his duty as chief mixer. For the past year he has been fighting a battle against colon cancer making this year's festival even more meaningful.
"I'm lucky to be here. I didn't think I was gonna make it but the Lord provided me to stay here and with the help of the people, their prayers I made it so its kind of special to me and my family," says Kahlich.
A family that will be represented by five generations at Sunday's festival. From Kahlich's great granddaughter to his mother, each generation there in support and celebration of Kahlich's life.
This year the Kahlich family recipe will be instrumental in selling more than 5,000 pounds of sausage and feeding around 1,200 people, but no matter how much sausage lovers beg, the Kahlich's lips are sealed when it comes to revealing the secret ingredients.
"Never, never, never, never, it'll just be passed down from generation to generation like some people have old spaghetti recipes and things like that this is what our family has," says Angela.
Now if your mouth is watering you have an opportunity to try Kahlich's sausage tomorrow. The 20th annual Sausage Lovers Festival will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Saint Michael's Catholic Church, which is located at 318 E. Washington in Levelland. Adult plates are $7 and children plates are $4. You can even get carry out plates by calling 894-3362 .