The Fennimore Fire Fighters will be hosting their annual Fennimore Fire Department Fall Festival and dance this Saturday, Sept. 14.
The event will mark 108 years of service to the community as well as 108 years dancing.
The fund raiser is one of two major events the Fennimore department hosts. Along with its annual steak feed, the Firemen’s Fall Festival and Dance is a vital effort for the health of the department.
“Fund raising is a very important function of our volunteer department,” The event page on social media notes. “We are an agency with limited funding resources, and unfortunately, there is nothing inexpensive about purchasing gear and equipment for fire services.”
Fennimore Fire Fighter Bob Koestler also emphasized this when discussing the fund raising efforts.
“There are a lot of regulations put on departments about how long we can have protective equipment in service,” Koestler said. “That is understandable for larger cities who may see a fire every day, luckily however we don’t; but the demands are the same for smaller rural departments, things still wear out and replacing items and keeping up with maintenance is important. Updating and replacing our equipment is necessary and this process comes at a cost. By actively working to raise additional funds to purchase modern gear and equipment, keeping our departments are more efficient, effective, and safe.”
The traditional dance has seen several changes this year in an effort to be more family friendly and inclusive to all in the community.
This year, the department has decided to try a few new things to bring more locals out to enjoy the good times at the dance, but offering a new variety of entertainment.
“People can come out and play bean bags or cards, get out of the house for an afternoon or night, however long they want to stay. We started slow...we wanted to do more tournaments, but if we see good attendance we’ll continue to grow.”
This year the department added the Fire in the Hole bean bag tournament. Registration runs from 1 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. and the bags fly starting at 2 p.m. There will competitive bracket payouts as well as social bracket payouts. There is a $40 team entry fee with three teams from each bracket winning money.
Also new this year will be the Fire 500 Card Tournament. Registration for that begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 4:45 p.m. Cards will be dealt at 5 p.m. There is a $20/ person entry fee with three people winning money.
When all of the fun fires up your appetite,volunteers will begin serving at the all-you-can-eat taco bar at 4 p.m. $8 for adults and $5 for those 17 and under.
Another change has come in the form of refreshments. The fire fighters have also added more drink options for kids as well as a larger variety of soft drinks. But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of adult beverages available as well. The cash bar for beverages will run from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. with a stand inside and out this year.
If you find yourself hungry later or want something to go, there will be Schwans pizza available from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
There will also be silent auction times and a door prize drawing at 9:30 p.m.
Get out and dance!
Of course there will still be music and dancing all day. The dance floor opens at 4 p.m. with polkas, oldies, and waltzes as well as requests. Modern day favorites and requests will kick off at 7 p.m. and go until 11 p.m. so make sure to shine your dancing shoes!
Admission is a $5 donation at the door.
“We are excited to bring you a new event and hoping it is well received and becomes a tradition in years to come. We hope to have a strong relationship with our community because this relationship is always vital to our success whenever an emergency arises. These sort of events are a great way for you to get to know us, and more importantly, for us to get to know you. We invite you to get out of the house on a Saturday and join us all in throwing some beanbags, eating great good and dancing the night away,” the departments post concluded.