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Fireman’s picnic is this weekend

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ST. IGNATIUS – St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department firefighters heat up the grill this week for their annual picnic and auction on Saturday, June 27, at the Old Town Field to make money to help supplement the department’s budget. 

“This is the 21st year we are having the picnic,” said Joseph Mitchell, volunteer firefighter. The event started when he was five, and he has attended all but one. 

Volunteers aren’t asking people to stand in front of a burning building with a water hose like they often do or to get out the Jaws of Life and help peel open a car to save a person’s life. No, they just want donations. 

“We’ll take anything from fishing bobbers to fishing boats,” Mitchell said of the items people can donate.

Items are put into the live auction held during the picnic at 4 p.m. A silent auction is also open during the event. In the past, some of the items included landscaping rocks, guns, playhouses, dishes and electronics. People can line up for the food at 2 p.m. Plates are $7 each, and kids under 10 are free.

“We’ve got two pigs, half a beef and 25 turkeys this year,” Mitchell said of the food cooked on the barbecue.

Other picnic items include salad, beans, rolls and ice cream. Volunteers start cooking on Friday night for the event, and expect more than 500 people.

“I’d like to feed 700,” Mitchell said hoping for a big crowd this year. 

If people can’t attend, they can still donate items or cash. 

“If people can’t attend, they can still donate,” he said.

Procrastinators or busy people can add items to the auction the day of the event. 

For those who would rather donate time, the department is always looking for volunteers. People can help with the picnic or even drive a big red fire engine down the road with sirens blaring — after receiving the proper training

To donate or volunteer call 406-745-4190 or 406-745-4266.

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