A BLAZING HOT NEW RECORD
Records are meant to be broken.
That's what happened Saturday, Aug. 25 at the 11th Annual Blooming Prairie Fire Department Brat and Sweet Corn Feed held at the fire hall when 650 enjoyed some delicious food.
Firefighter Mike Hoffman manned a donations table and encouraged visitors to place freewill offerings in a fireman's boot.
At times, the two food lines were backed up to the front side entrance. Twenty-six BP firefighters helped with the event, as did spouses and friends of firefighters.
The new record shattered last year's attendance mark of 550. This year's event was held at the fire hall for the third consecutive year.
The event helped the department a significant amount of money.
"It is so much more convenient to have seating inside the hall and kids activities outside the hall," said Fire Chief Dean Naatz.
The location of the feed at the fire hall enables the department to display much of its equipment. A huge American flag was also draped over the department's ladder truck.
The feed featured bratwurst, pork patties, hot dogs, beans and juicy sweet corn. Also, a delicious assortment of bars and cookies were served for dessert by spouses and friends of the firemen.
"We noticed a lot more people this year from outside the Blooming Prairie area," said Dave Wradislavsky, organizer of the food part of the event.
Firefighter Wradislavsky said many of the local fire departments sent representatives to the brat and corn feed. In addition to Blooming Prairie, other departments represented included Ellendale, Geneva, Brownsdale, Hollandale, Dodge Center, Hayfield and Owatonna.
Profits from the brat and corn feed will be used to provide more equipment for the department and to furnish equipment for four new firefighters and to provide replacement equipment for other firefighters.
Organization of the fire department's brat and corn feed was spearheaded by a committee including Justin Krell, Matt Madsen, Matt Kittelson and Jake Lembke.
Wradislavsky said the department is grateful for the community support and pleased to see some who said they had never visited the department's home. He said thanks also go out to the firefighters' spouses who helped with the event.
"Our success is due to a huge team effort led by the fire department and all of our donors," Wradislavsky pointed out.
Carol Iverson and Katie Ingvalson offered face painting to the young at heart.
The planning committee said 1,400 pounds of corn were donated by Benji, Nicki, Eric and Becky Bishop and by Matt and Amy Potter.
Other sponsors were: Farmers & Merchants State Bank; Hope Creamery; Pizza Cellar and Cue Company; Skjeveland Enterprises; Dean's Smoke Shack of Geneva; Geneva Meats; Metal Arts and Precision Parts and Travelin' Picnic Tables.
During the day's event, 500 brats, 500 pork patties and 120 hot dogs were served.
Hungry customers also consumed 19 gallons of hot, baked beans, four gallons of sauerkraut and 16 pounds of Hope Butter.
While adults and their families enjoyed the food, many kids went outdoors to use the "Bouncy House." Youngsters were also given the opportunity to handle a fire hose. Some kids got wet. Oops, so did the adults.
Profits are directed toward a wish list that the local fire department prepares.
"We help pay for supplemental equipment with funds from this feed," Chief Naatz said.