Inaugural Fire Fest

LUBECK – Hundreds attended the inaugural Mid-Ohio Valley Fire Fest on Saturday for a day of entertainment, activities and games in support of three local volunteer fire departments.

Mark Stewart, chief of the Lubeck VFD, said the Fire Fest was developed by members of the Lubeck, Blennerhassett and Washington Bottom departments, all working together to raise money to support all three.

Proceeds from the event will be divided equally among the three departments to help fund fire, rescue and emergency medical services in the three areas.

The main draw was an afternoon and evening of live music featuring local performers and Nashville recording artist Trent Tomlinson on Saturday evening. The local performances included Jake Binegar, Proclaimers, Steve Hussy, Jody Haught, JINXD and Taylor Sams.

The event also featured a car show, a tractor show, a craft fair, concessions, children’s games, cornhole tournament and other activities.

Frances Hofmann, of Washington, W.Va., was among those attending Saturday’s Fire Fest. She said the entertainment was the main draw for her at Saturday’s event. She hoped the event would be a success and would continue in the future.

“I think it’s good, I’m glad to see it,” Lubeck resident Gladys Bloomer said of Saturday’s event.

Vienna resident Gene Kunkle brought his 1976 Cadillac Coupe de Ville to exhibit in the Fire Fest’s car show. He was looking forward to a fun event through the day and enjoys going to socials and other events held by the area’s volunteer fire departments.

“We support all of the fire departments,” he said.

Stewart was pleased with the turnout Saturday and feels positive the Fire Fest will become an annual event for the area. He said he received several out-of-town calls prior to Saturday making sure the event was going ahead as scheduled, mainly due to the interest in Tomlinson’s performance.

The cooperation leading to Saturday’s event was an outgrowth of the working relationships the VFDs have experienced for years in dealing with emergency situations in support of one another, according to Stewart.

“When we have fires, we’re all there together. We get along exceptionally well,” he said of the departments.