Eagle Fire Co. firefighters and first responders are hoping a large crowd joins them for their annual festival June 28-29. Many activities will center around a Western theme, reports chairperson Lori Luers.
Oldenburg festgoers are encouraged to dress in their best cowboy/cowgirl or Indian gear with prizes awarded for the top costumes. “Just show up at the shelter behind the firehouse Saturday at 6 p.m., when a group of firemen and women will do the judging.”
Visitors may even want to try their hands at bull riding. The winner will be determined by who stays on the mechanical bull the longest. The cost is $5 for one attempt, $8 for two and $10 for three tries.
Friday night, Western chow will be served. Smoked pork chops dinners, complete with pork and beans, scalloped potatoes, applesauce or cole slaw, homemade desserts and a drink are $11 for adults and $6 for kids, announces Tom Nobbe, who is in charge of the food.
The youngsters will have many activities to participate in, Luers emphasizes. Two baby bear cubs, a lemur and a tiger cub from Stapp’s Circle S Ranch, Greensburg, will be on site. “Kids will get to interact with some of the animals …. and a clown will be walking around making balloon animals.” The youngsters will also be entertained by three bounce houses and various games. A kiddie tractor pull begins at 4 p.m. Saturday. Age categories are 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8.
Just as the West expanded over the years, so will the fest this year. Some activities will be set up across the street from the firehouse in the grassy area next to the church, she reveals.
A few changes will be made with Saturday’s parade registration and lineup. Participants can register from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A table will be set up at the corner of Werner and Water streets, reports organizer Willie Ronnebaum. Participants “need to come to me there to be registered and get a number. They will line up in the order they come in.”
The only exception will be equine entries. The horses will gather at Douglas Street. “We don’t want them next to the steam engines or fire trucks where they may get spooked.”
The procession will begin at 1 p.m. It will go west on Water Street, north on State Road 229, go through the convent grounds and south on Pearl Street past the firehouse, where it ends. Trophies will be presented to the winners in seven categories: fire apparatus, float, classic vehicle, farm equipment, sport, equestrian and oddity.
“The theme is Western, but we’ll take anything and everything.” She encourages people to participate or come out to see the parade because “it’s a fun time. The more the merrier. Everybody gets pumped …. and there are lots of things going on this year.”
Right as the parade ends, the eating of fried chicken and roast beef dinners begins. The menu includes green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, choice of cole slaw or applesauce, homemade desserts and drink (adults, $12; children, $6). In addition, carryout chickens (whole, $12; half, $6) will be sold.
Lighter fare, including hot dogs, hamburgers, deep fried tenderloin and grilled chicken breast sandwiches, french fries and cold drinks, can also be purchased. The beer garden, which opens at 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, closes at midnight.
The fest’s raffle awards a $1,000 cash grand prize and many other items donated by area businesses. Tickets, $1 each or six for $5, can be purchased from any Eagle Fire Co. member or at the fest.
Oldenburg Firemen's Festival Friday, June 28 5-8 p.m. - Smoked pork chop dinners8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. - Now and Then Saturday, June 29 1 p.m. - Parade2-8 p.m. - Fried chicken and roast beef dinners4 p.m. - Kiddie tractor pull6 p.m. - Best dressed cowboy/cowgirl/Indian judging7-9 p.m. - Mechanical bull riding8 p.m.-midnight - Inner SoulOther attractions: games, food, beer garden