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It Wasn't Easy, But it worked!

posted Oct 5, 2017, 1:09 PM by Brian Holt Hawthorne
Labor Day weekend's 47th Annual Firefighter's Barbecue was one to remember.  

After many previous years of mostly fair weather, this year's event became a huge challenge for the members of the Plainfield Volunteer Firefighter's Association(PVFA). As the Sunday weather forecast deteriorated as we moved closer to the event, PVFA members made plans to make the event happen in spite of the forecast. After attempting to rent a large tent unsuccessfully on Saturday, the decision was made to move the serving of the barbecue dinner, running of the annual auction and live music to the interior of the Plainfield Public Safety Complex on North Central St. on Sunday. The meal would still be cooked on the fire association's giant outside grill behind the library as always.

On Saturday, along with picking up and delivering all the food supplies, creating the homemade cole-slaw and barbecue sauce, wrapping 400 potatoes, putting 400 ears of corn in water filled coolers; a first ever design, created By Ed Morann, was constructed around the fire pit. When the rain started early Sunday morning, after allowing the fire pit to get started, a tin roof was installed on the steel frame. This was done during pouring rain and in smoke coming up from the grill. It worked! Soon we started the cooking of 1200 items-chicken, potatoes and corn on the cob. Overcoming cool temperatures, the barbecue sauce was added to the chicken. All foods were then stored on pallets in the fire department's rescue trailer and driven up to the Safety Complex.

The day before, in addition to the tasks described above, most of the many sized picnic tables were moved up from the pavilion behind the library to inside the truck bays at the Safety Complex, allowing for dry seats for barbecue ticket holders. All these tables were then moved back down to the pavilion after the barbecue ended. Cummington Fire Dep't. delivered extra tables Sunday morning. With one group of firefighters cooking  the meal in the rain, a separate group association members, spouses and friends were setting up the interior of the Safety Complex to serve dinners, listen to live music and enjoy the huge silent auction all within a dry, comfortable environment. A new gravel path was constructed from the ball field to the complex parking lot. Cars parked on the field allowing easy access to the event.

In the end, the members and friends of the PVFA pulled off an amazing day for the hundreds of ticket holders who attended the event, under extreme challenges. 

I thank all of them and all of you who joined us on a Barbecue to remember.

David Alvord
Barbecue Chair   
Plainfield Asst. Fire Chief
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