Four Monroe County fire companies are working together this weekend so you can have fun.
The fire companies from Monroe County's West End are holding a three day fundraising festival.
And it starts tonight at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert.
News13's Nicole Walters joins us live from there where things are almost ready to kick off.
The rides are being tested, games are set up and the food stands are ready to serve you for a great cause.
They’re always there for you when you need them. Now the four fire companies that serve Monroe County’s West End are hoping you’ll answer their call for fun. You’re invited to the annual Fireman’s Festival starting tonight at the Fairgrounds in Gilbert.
Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Volunteer Fire Chief Leon Clapper says, "Everything that happens here, the proceeds benefits the four fire companies. No matter if it’s a private vendor or if it’s the food sales that we do as the fire service."
Clapper shows us Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder’s stand. But there will be all kinds of food, rides, games and bands. We’re told over 30 vendors are getting ready in support of helping the local heroes. And that’s not all they have planned.
Clapper says, "Saturday night we have fireworks, during the afternoon on Saturday we have Touch a Truck and then we’re going to have a helicopter drop candy in the field for the kids to go pick up so it should be a really good time."
Holding the event together not only offsets the problem of a manpower shortage, it also pays off when they’re on scene.
Clapper says, "When you’re in the West End, everything’s getting bigger and most of our calls we run mutual aid, all of us four fire companies together so if nothing else it brought the brotherhood of firefighters together and we know each other better."
But the firefighters weren’t the ones behind the idea. A community member who wanted to give back, started the festival.
Randy Cramer says, "All the fire companies use to have carnivals and they just kind of went away so I decided to get all four of the fire companies together and do a festival to raise money for them because a lot of people don’t understand, they do it volunteer. So as much help as we can give them, the better."
Randy will also be sharing his talents Friday night with the Cramer Brothers Band and is the organizer behind a live telethon for the firehouses at the festival airing live on Blue RIdge Cable Saturday night at 7.
Cramer says, "Every little bit helps so if we pick up some from the telethon great, but we’ll have buckets here if anyone wants to come up and donate."
The festival runs each night from six to 9:30 and Saturday festivities start at three. Admission is 10 dollars per car and it’s an easy way to say thank you for your service.