Sharkey’s to offer annual Serbian Christmas |

Sharkey’s to offer annual Serbian Christmas

by Merrie Leininger

The Begoviches and their employees are gearing up for the annual Serbian Christmas celebration at Sharkey’s.

Mashelle Begovich, daughter of Milos “Sharkey” Begovich, said the casino doesn’t count the visitors usually, but thousands of people traditionally join her family for the traditional Serbian Orthodox Christmas dinner.

Every year on Jan. 7, the Serbian Christmas is celebrated and the Begoviches invite the public as a way “to say thank you to everyone for keeping us in business for another year,” Begovich said.

n Traditional menu. The free dinner, which consists of traditional Serbian meats such as goat and pig, also includes chicken, turkey, ham salads, apple strudel and wine.

The dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will continue “until nobody is waiting for food,” Begovich said.

Begovich said many who are squeamish about trying the goat and pig are delighted once they do.

“It’s wonderful. We have to have people who know what they’re doing, how to prepare it, thought,” she said.

She said the dinner takes all year to plan and about 40 members of the community volunteer every year to help them serve.

“It gets real haywire right after the normal Christmas,” she said.

The kitchen staff works around the clock for the days proceeding it, and family members come in from all over to help, also.

The feast is a Serbian tradition which Sharkey’s mother continued at her boarding house in Jackson, Calif. The annual Gardnerville event is something Mashelle has grown up with.

“It has gotten bigger, and now we have people from all over the country coming,” she said.

Live entertainment in the form of singers and dancers, an accordion player and the local band, County Line, will be provided.

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