Barbecue was "biggest and best ever"
The 54th annual Wheaton Fire Department Barbecue was the "biggest and best, ever," according to Lindy Lombard, of the Wheaton Fire Department.
The day's activities got underway with the 18th annual Spud McCracken Memorial Horseshoe Tournament. At 11 a.m., volunteer firefighters began serving chicken, which was barbecued over open fire pits. The department also offered pulled pork dinners.
"We sold out of everything," Lombard said. "There were over 1,200 chicken halves sold. I don't know how many pulled pork meals were sold."
Free rides for children opened at 1 p.m.
"They started running like crazy and didn't stop until the rides shut down at 9 p.m.," Lombard said. "There were 35 sponsors for the free rides."
The evening highlight for the Wheaton Fire Department's 54th annual barbecue was the duck race.
"A record number of ducks were sold," Lombard said. "We had 750 this year, the most ever."
Cash prizes awarded to the first five ducks that reached the checkered finish line in the annual race. First prize, in the amount of $500, went to Millard Andrews, of Cassville.
Other winners were: Becky Sullivan, of Monett, second prize, $250; Whitney Shields, of Washburn, third prize, $125; Carroll Craig, of Cassville, fourth prize, $75; and Rodney Hughes, of Cassville, fifth prize, $50.
Lombard credits the success of this year's event to the change in date, moving it back from the hotter weeks in July and August.
"The community and the department all had a huge hand in making this year's barbecue a success," added Lombard. "They helped make this a great day."
The Wheaton Fire Department's 55th annual barbecue is slated to take place Aug. 24, 2013. Proceeds from the annual event are used to purchase equipment for the volunteer fire department.