Fire department hosts annual barbecue
The Wheaton Volunteer Fire Department hosted its 53rd annual barbecue in the Wheaton City Park on July 9. The event offered food concessions, arts and crafts booths, live entertainment and children's activities.
"The barbecue turned out good," said Bob Lombard, Wheaton fire chief. "It wasn't as good as in the past on account of the heat. Financially, we will come out fine though. Considering the heat, we are tickled to death with it."
Wheaton volunteer firefighters smoked 900 half chickens throughout the morning.
"We probably sold over 800 chicken meals," said Lombard. "We didn't cook as many this year, because we knew it was going to be hot. We also sold around 200 barbecue sandwiches."
In addition to enjoying fresh barbecue meals, attendees had the opportunity to listen to live music and shop a large arts and crafts area throughout the day. The event also offered the annual Spud McCracken Memorial Horseshoe Pitch and carnival-style activities for children.
Families visited the firemen's ice cream booth and the Wheaton United Methodist Church's pie booth throughout the afternoon. In addition to ice cream cones and pie, attendees battled the heat by snacking on snow cones and other cool treats.
Around 7 p.m., volunteer firefighters began filling the duck race ditch with water. As it neared 8 p.m., the crowd gathered around the waterway to cheer on over 530 ducks that were adopted for this year's race.
Duck race winners were: Terri Priest, first place, $500; Marilyn Erwin, second place, $250; Jim Fohn, third place, $125; Kaitlin England, fourth place, $75; and Marlene Gunter, fifth place, $50.
After the duck race, barbecue attendees enjoyed Edwina Tichenor's karaoke in the park for several hours.
All proceeds from the annual barbecue celebration will benefit the Wheaton Volunteer Fire Department. Funds will be used to purchase new firefighting equipment.