By Hinesburg Firemen’s Association
Each year the members of the Hinesburg Firemen’s Association have lengthy and serious discussions about the annual July 4 chicken barbeque. Should we do it again this year? Do we have enough help? Does the attendance support all the work involved? If we did not have the barbeque on July 4, what, if anything, would we do in its place?
This year was no exception. At the April business meeting, the annual Independence Day barbeque was discussed, and once again the Association had to decide whether or not we should hold the annual event.
Many factors went into this year’s decision. Hinesburg is a growing community with younger families moving here from in and out of state. This includes members of the department. Many take vacation to return home and spend the holiday with family. With the holiday falling on a Friday this year, it means a long weekend and extra day for vacation.
With many of our own members traveling out of town to visit family, there are fewer members to work. Station cleaning and setup begins over a week in advance. On the July 4, the day begins around 7am with chair, table, and decoration set up in the apparatus bay. Volunteers break for the parade, have a very short rest, and by 12:30pm are at back at work on the grills and food preparation. Volunteers spend the rest of the day at work, with final cleanup completed just in time to perform fire standby at the fireworks.
The Association is also competing for attendees with neighboring towns. Bristol, Williston, and Richmond are among the towns that hold all day celebrations. These include family and children activities, parades, and chicken barbeques. With more choices, attendance has dwindled.
We have decided to postpone the event. Are we cancelling the barbeque entirely? Absolutely not. Plans are already in the works for an open house with demonstrations and a chicken barbeque on Saturday, Sept. 6 with more details to follow.
The Hinesburg Firemen’s Association thanks the community for its understanding and continued support of the department.