Pine River pig roast to celebrate fire station payoff
The burning of the fire station mortgage will be a special attraction at this year’s 11th annual Pine River Fire Department pig roast event. Activities run from 1-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the fire station, N1622 Range Line Rd.
The Pine River Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 2005 and the town passed a borrowing referendum to take out an $835,000 loan to construct a fire station. Another approximately $300,000 in grants and donations helped outfit the new department with gear and equipment. The last payment on the construction loan was made earlier this month.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said John Uttech, who has served as Pine River’s fire chief since the department’s inception.
The township bugets $35,000 a year toward the department’s expenses, which covers the essentials of maintaining the department. The annual pig roast has played a big role in keeping the department up to date on equipment, Uttech said.
“This fundraiser has helped purchase several vehicles and a bunch of smaller items,” he said.
A huge raffle with lots of valuable prizes has been a hallmark of the event. Last year, a brand new ATV was offered as a grand prize and ticket sales soared. Again this year, a brand new Polaris ATV is up for grabs in the raffle that also features a host of other big ticket items.
“We sold almost 8,000 tickets last year,” Uttech said, “and we expect to sell more this year.”
Food and refreshments will be served starting at 1 p.m. with live music by Bernie Thompson from 1-4:30 p.m. and The Dukes from 7-11 p.m.
A new feature this year will be fire extinguisher demonstrations, teaching the proper technique to put out a fire quickly. A local business donated a number of older extinguishers to the department for public education purposes.
Another new activity will be fireworks at dusk. The children’s fire safety house will return, as will the Aspirus Medevac helicopter, weather permitting.
Uttech said the department is grateful for the community’s support of its fundraising efforts. Numerous businesses and individuals contribute prizes for the raffles and the event always has a big turnout.
“We’ve had great community support,” Uttech said.