Fire Fest kicks off festival season April 30


By Rhonda Bletner - [email protected] com



Not only will there be bounce houses and food vendors and a cornhole tournament at Fire Fest, attendees can explore the fire department vehicles like little Ember Sword does in this photo. She is pictured with her mother and father Rocky and Laura Sword.

Not only will there be bounce houses and food vendors and a cornhole tournament at Fire Fest, attendees can explore the fire department vehicles like little Ember Sword does in this photo. She is pictured with her mother and father Rocky and Laura Sword.


MOUNT GILEAD — Festival season kicks off locally with the Mount Gilead Fireman’s Association and Mount Gilead Fire Department Auxiliary’s first Fire Fest. The event will be held April 30 beginning at 12 p.m. at the Mount Gilead Fire Department, 1 Municipal Drive, Mount Gilead. North Street will be closed for the event.

“We want to give back to the community with a family evening to thank them for their support,” Chief Chad Swank stated.

Fire operation demonstrations at the event are scheduled as follows: 1 p.m. Close Before you Doze Campaign, 3 p.m. Extrication, and 5 p.m. Fire Extinguishers.

“We’re educating the community who we are, what we provide,” added Andrew Robinson “like how many people, when they call 911, know what kind of firefighters you have available for people. If you look around, we have a lot of individuals from the area that come to work here and like being a part of Mount Gilead fire. I work for a full time department. You’ve got a lot of great resources that the community doesn’t even know that they have available.”

“We have expertise that we garner from other places with different kinds of calls. We bring that expertise when we come to work here,” stated Zack McAvoy, president of the Mount Gilead Firefighters Association. “The demonstrations that we’re getting ready to do is really going to highlight that expertise and show you what you’re getting.”

The Fire Fest also offers a Cornhole Tournament, fire truck displays, bounce houses, food trucks and a family-friendly movie night. There will also be a Taste of Morrow County Gift Basket raffle.

Why do full time firefighters volunteer at Mount Gilead?

“We’re not here to make money. We’re here because we love what we do. A lot of us grew up in this community. When we go on calls, these car crashes, it’s not just Joe Schome down the street. One of my first calls was a family member (just six hours after becoming certified,” McAvoy said.

“Individuals in this community are our family,” he added. “We bring our expertise home because this community doesn’t have the money like some other big departments do. We want to give them the best they can get.”

Food vendors at the Fire Fest will include, Stoops Indian Bread, Real Deal Grill, Jimmy B’s BBQ, and Sprinklelisa Cookies & Cakery.

Stroops Indian Bread posted on their Facebook page in early April: “This is NOT an April Fools joke – I REPEAT, there is NO joking here! Our first event of the year is THIS MONTH! We’ll be hanging out down in Mt. Gilead at the Fire Fest frying up your favorite taco item & elephant ears! There will be all kinds of family entertainment, cornhole tournaments, demos, a movie and some other food trucks also!”

Station 19’s Cornhole Tournament registration begins at 10 a.m. and the competition begins at 11 a.m. The cost to register is $20 per team and there will be cash prizes. Registration may take place on Saturday or teams can register now by contacting the Mount Gilead Fire Department at 419-946-2551 or by calling Justin Dilsaver at 740-360-7719.

Not only will there be bounce houses and food vendors and a cornhole tournament at Fire Fest, attendees can explore the fire department vehicles like little Ember Sword does in this photo. She is pictured with her mother and father Rocky and Laura Sword.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/04/web1_FireDept.jpgNot only will there be bounce houses and food vendors and a cornhole tournament at Fire Fest, attendees can explore the fire department vehicles like little Ember Sword does in this photo. She is pictured with her mother and father Rocky and Laura Sword.

By Rhonda Bletner

[email protected] com