It is a tradition that has been a part of Garner from the 1950s.
Garner Fire-Rescue will hold its annual Firemen’s Day Saturday, Oct. 1. The event will be bigger and better than ever. They will serve barbecue from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The barbecue is as much a tradition as the event itself. Cap. Jeff Jordan is in charge of cooking the North Carolina dish.
“This barbecue is what started Firemen’s Day. The members got together and cooked to sell plates to raise money for the department,” Jordan explained. “My dad was in charge of the cooking for years and when he retired from the department I followed in his footsteps.”
The event has been an engine for bringing people together.
“The community has supported us since the beginning. They look forward to coming together on the first Saturday in October to enjoy a day of food, fun and fellowship,” Capt. Don Johnson said.
Garner Fire will also have live fire demonstrations, vendors, rides and children’s games, as well as a parade and live music. The parade is one of the oldest parades in Garner. Fire departments from all across the area join the parade as well as local merchants and dignitaries.
One of the highlights of the day is the annual raffle of $10,000. Tickets can be purchased from any firefighter or from any station in Garner. Tickets cost $5. There are 10 monetary prizes and the grand prize is $10,000.
The proceeds from Firemen’s Day support charities near and dear to the department.
“Every year we carry gifts to the Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill at Christmas. We try to bring a little Christmas joy to a patient who has to spend the holiday in the hospital. We also make a cash donation that the center uses for whatever they need throughout the year,” Johnson said. “I get to play Santa for the event and it is one of the highlights of my Christmas. By supporting Firemen’s Day (people) help us make it a very special Christmas for the folks in Chapel Hill.”
If you would like information about Firemen’s Day, go to garnerfire.com or contact any Garner Fire station.
Schedule of Events
▪ 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Barbecue (eat-in or take-out), games and vendors.
▪ 2 p.m.: Parade starts at the intersection of W. Garner and Benson roads, traveling toward New Rand Road and returns to the fire station on Main Street.
▪ 3 p.m.: Live fire demonstration.
▪ 3:30-7 p.m.: Live music by the Antique Outlaws.
▪ 7 p.m. Raffle drawing for $10,000.