The Village at Winona will be smokin’ hot Saturday with the celebration of the Winona Lake Fire Department’s 100-year anniversary and the Combined Community Services Blue Jeans & BBQ Gala. Pictured (L to R) are: Village manager Jeremy Marsh; Community Cowboy Chefs, Mayor Joe Thallemer, Gordy Clemens, John Tucker; CCS board member Dana Leon Huffer; Matt Metzger; and Dane Miller’s guest chef, Chief Mitch Titus of WLFD. Photo provided.
The Village at Winona will be smokin’ hot Saturday with the celebration of the Winona Lake Fire Department’s 100-year anniversary and the Combined Community Services Blue Jeans & BBQ Gala. Pictured (L to R) are: Village manager Jeremy Marsh; Community Cowboy Chefs, Mayor Joe Thallemer, Gordy Clemens, John Tucker; CCS board member Dana Leon Huffer; Matt Metzger; and Dane Miller’s guest chef, Chief Mitch Titus of WLFD. Photo provided.
The Village at Winona Lake will be smokin’ hot Saturday.
Combined Community Services Inc., The Village at Winona Lake and the Winona Lake Fire Department will join forces to pump some energy and flavor into the weekend.
This year, the Winona Lake Fire Department celebrates 100 years of organized service to the community. The Village at Winona Lake will host an exhibition and activities Saturday to mark the milestone.
Saturday’s celebration along Canal Street will feature a display of the department fire trucks and water ball to entertain kids of all ages from 1 to 4 p.m.
Winona Lake’s organized fire service really began after the park fire of 1914. The fire destroyed nearly two dozen homes and defeated the ill-equipped citizens who maintained a fire cart in the town.
“We’ve come a long way and established a strong tradition of service over the last 100 years,” said Mitch Titus, current fire chief.
The last hundred years have seen many changes in Winona Lake. The park, now known as Spring Fountain Park, shows little evidence of the fire of 1914. Saturday at 7 p.m. Spring Fountain Park will host the Blue Jeans & BBQ Gala benefiting Combined Community Services Inc. This will be the third year for the event with Dane Miller serving again as the honorary chair. It will be the largest fundraiser for CCS and will pack in some serious flavor.
Five area “chefs” will compete for votes from the public online and in person at the event. This year’s community cowboy chefs include Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer; Dane Miller and guest chef Chief Mitch Titus of Winona Lake Fire Dept; John Tucker, Maple Leaf Farms; Gordy Clemens, Dewald Fluid Power and famous Elvis impersonator; and Matt Metzger, Metzger Trucking/Metzger Outdoors. Votes are $5 each and can be made online at www.combinedcommunityservices.org
Each chef will prepare a barbecue dish for sampling by those attending the event. Chefs will be incorporating custom-mixed spice blends sourced from The Spice Merchant in The Village at Winona Lake. Tickets are still available by calling CCS at 574-269-6019 or online.
The Blue Jeans & BBQ Gala will also feature auction and prize items from Chapman Jewelers, Orange Door Dental and Sorg Jewelers; a grill sponsored by Ace Hardware of Warsaw, Notre Dame football tickets, Colts tickets, a weekend getaway at Oakwood Resort, Bucket O’ Brew by Kosciusko Kettleheads; autographed sheet music from Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift; autographed 11x17 photos of One Direction, Duck Dynasty Cast, The Bush Family and Johnny Depp.
The signature live auction item will be a six-night Marco Island vacation and yacht cruise for six, hosted by Dana and Mary Louise Miller. Check out their Facebook page for a complete list and details on auction items.
The evening will also be highlighted by a live music concert in the park by The Bekah Bradley Band. Bekah is a pop country artist with a natural country twang that is instantly recognizable. She is inspired by many different kinds of music including country, pop, rock and Christian.
The Bekah Bradley Band will play until 11 p.m. Those who are unable to attend the entire event may purchase a ticket for the concert in the park for $10. Advance tickets are available, in addition to purchase at the door at 9 p.m.
Blue Jeans & BBQ is coordinated by Whalen Creative Group, Grace Whalen, event planner. Voting for Community Cowboy Chefs is now open online. There is no limit on the number of votes that can be cast.
Votes help support CCS and its emergency assistance and self-sufficiency programs in the community.
“The Village at Winona Lake is pleased to honor the tradition of service of the Winona Lake Fire Department and help such a worthwhile organization in our community such as CCS. It’s going to be a great Saturday here in the Village” said Jeremy Marsh, manager of The Village at Winona Lake.
Questions regarding this weekend’s activities can be addressed by calling Sabrina at 574-269-6019, Ext. 231, or visiting online at www.combinedcommunityservices.org, or by contacting The Village at Winona Lake at 574-268-9888.