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Home News-Telegram News Hot August Nights BBQ Cook-Off to host 12 volunteer fire departments

Hot August Nights BBQ Cook-Off to host 12 volunteer fire departments

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Hot August Nights continues to grow, adding more teams, vendors, food, entertainment and fun to the annual fundraiser for the county’s volunteer fire departments, and 2009 marks the first year all 12 volunteer fire departments will be participating.

The first two years of the benefit, not all departments had enough staff to be able to send cooks to the barbecue competition. Last year, 10 of the 12 VFDs were represented. This year, all 12 have committed to sending a cook team and grills to prepare 80 to 100 pounds of barbecue each.

Also, the 3rd Annual Hot August Nights BBQ Cook-Off will feature other barbecue teams. While only VFDs are eligible to win the big trophy, other barbecue chefs are welcome to join in the fun Aug. 22. The winning VFD will have the department’s name engraved on the trophy, which will be displayed at their station for the next year, as well as bragging rights for a year. The city of Sulphur Springs has indicated a desire to enter a team, noted Moose Morgan, who is not only a member of North Hopkins VFD but is also with Star Country Radio. The winning VFD also receives a smaller plaque as a keepsake of the event.

Like all fire department tales, the trophy itself already has an interesting history. Won by Arbala VFD in 2007, the trophy was in the fire station when it caught fire in January 2008. While quite a bit of AVFD’s new station and equipment were damaged, the trophy was rescue with only minimal signs it’d been in the fire. Of course, that only adds to the tradition. No true fire gear is broken in until it has a bit of soot and smoke on it. Peerless VFD Chief Jim Rich sure didn’t seem to mind a bit of tarnish while proudly showing off the trophy secured in 2008 by the department, while helping promote the annual events.

The judges of what promise to be mouthwateringly tasty barbecued brisket and ribs will be a contingent of local dignitaries including commissioners, judges, business and church representatives, and even the sheriff.

Barbecue will be served beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, for $10 each for all you can eat and admission to all the events. Armbands can be purchased in advance from volunteer fire departments or at Star Country Radio station, or at the gate the day of the event.

The fire departments will be raffling a John Deere deck mower provided by Ag Power. Chances are $1 each from any volunteer fire department member or at Star Country Radio Station.

All proceeds from the barbecue and raffle will go to the 12 volunteer fire departments in Hopkins County to assist with operational expenses.

Local firefighters will also compete against each other in drills in a firefighters’ olympics for prizes and bragging rights. Event planners are trying to set up a Hopkins County firefighters versus U.S. armed forces tug of war, as each branch of service is slated to have a booth at the event.

The event will also feature “Red Dirt Sound” by four up-and-coming entertainers, three of which have had hits in the top 20 on music charts. All four entertainers are donating their time to the event so that 100 percent of the proceeds go to the VFDS (Saltillo, Sulphur Bluff, Dike, Tira, North Hopkins, Peerless, Cumby, Pickton-Pine Forest, Brinker, Como, Arbala and Miller Grove). They’ll start performing at 2 p.m., according to Morgan. Kids can enjoy a dunk tank and bounce houses. Life Star will have a helicopter on the grounds and flight medics to talk about the medical units and take pictures with kids, and parents can get a free fingerprint kit for their kids. Texas Department of Transportation will have its Rollover Crash Simulator at the location. Representatives from local law enforcement fire departments, emergency medical services and the Red Cross will also attend.

More than 20 vendors have already reserved space for their wares which range from clothing and specialty items to purses and jewelry. Anyone interested in reserving a booth can contact event coordinator Dawn Morgan at 903-885-1546. Space is limited and sites are $25 and $50 each, available only until Aug. 12. Barbecue chefs may also sign up through that date to cook at the event by filling out a registration form, available at the radio station.

The event is also once again being held this year in conjunction with the Professional Bull Riders event on the Civic Center grounds. Last year, Saturday’s event sold out,  so those planning to attend are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to ensure a seat. The gates for general admission open at 6:30 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Civic Center Arena. General and reserve seat tickets for the PBR event can be purchased rate this Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Texas Heritage National Bank, and will be available Saturday Circle E Western Store.

For more information about Hot August Nights contact Star Country Radio station at 903-885-1546.




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