FRUITLAND, Iowa–In the middle of summer, few things sound quite so good as fresh barbeque, live blues music, and outdoor games. July 10, the Fruitland Fire Department will bring all these elements and more together for Barbeque Blues Fest, one of their most fun fundraisers of the year.
Starting bright and early, amateur grillers will set up shop at 151 North Street, Fruitland and start marinating their masterpieces for the afternoon’s rib judging contest. Complete with prizes, the rib judging contest will bring together some of the area’s best aspiring grill masters.
Beginning at 10 a. m., the members of the Fruitland Fire Department will face off against the members of other local volunteer fire departments to see who will prevail in the day’s water wars. A friendly competition, Fruitland Fire Chief Don Briggs hopes people will enjoy watching the different departments compete for the year’s honors. “It’s more for bragging rights than anything,” he said.
Throughout the day, kids can enjoy a bouncy house with water features. Adults can enter a sweetcorn eating contest at noon, play in a cornhole tournament starting at 3 p.m., check out the beer tent, and enter into a raffle for prizes from local sponsors including Chamberlin Heating and Air Conditioning, Mitchell’s Arms and Ammo, and many other generous local vendors. Festival goes of all ages can check out several different vendors on site as well.
Starting at 3 p.m. young and old alike can enjoy some of the best blues music the region has to offer. The Spoonbills will play from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and Muscatine native Ernie Peniston will follow from 6 to 9 p.m. Both inductees in the Quad Cities Blues Hall of Fame, these two top notch performers will surely provide an evening to remember.
Through this fundraiser, the Fruitland Fire Department hopes to bring in enough money to replace aging equipment. “All the proceeds will go to bunker gear,” explained Briggs. Through contest entry fees, beer tent sales, and donations, Briggs hopes to bring in enough money to purchase five sets of bunker gear, which cost about $3,500 a piece. Through proceeds from vendors, Briggs thinks they may raise enough money to purchase an additional two to three sets of gear. In the next year or two, Briggs would like to update all of the department’s bunker gear.
Whether scrumptious grilling, fun games, or sweet blues music attract you most, Briggs encourages you to give the Fruitland Fire Department’s Barbeque Blues Fest a try. With the community’s support a successful night will reap big benefits for the department and the communities they serve.