Organizers are putting the final touches on the upcoming Wheaton Volunteer Fire Department BBQ event on Saturday, at the Wheaton City Park.

The all-day event begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

“This is our 56th annual event,” said Lindy Lombard, assistant fire chief. “We put it on to show the public how much we appreciate them, because we have great support from our community for the fire department.”

The money raised goes to purchase bunker gear and other equipment for the 20 volunteer firefighters.

Food will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

“You get half of a chicken, baked potato, baked beans — all homemade — slice of bread, milk, coffee, for $6 (adults. Children are $3),” said Lombard. “Then you also can have pulled pork and baked beans for $5.”

Then there is the music portion of the day.

“We have entertainment starting at 1 p.m. and every hour on the hour,” he said. “The ‘221 Band’ will start at 8:30 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. We just increased it (music), we have always had it, but we usually only had three or four groups, this year we have eight different groups.”

For the children, there are free rides.

“We have 52 area businesses that have donated to the fire department in order for us to have free rides,” he said.

Another event that draws the people is the duck race, to be held at 8 p.m. at the city park.

“The duck race is a big attraction there. We give away $1,000 for five prizes there,” said Lombard.  

Those looking for some gifts for a birthday or holiday will have a huge choice.
“We have two full tents of craft booths. 30 crafters,” he said.

Lombard applauds the community for their support.

“The people who turn out for this, they always have,” he said. “It is a community effort.”