Eagle barn dance benefits firefighters | VailDaily.com

Eagle barn dance benefits firefighters


EAGLE – Downvalley residents are facing the bittersweet reality of summer’s end, but that does mean its time for a great party.

For more than two decades now, Eagle area residents have launched the fall season at the annual Eagle Firemen’s Barbecue and Barn Dance. The 24th annual celebration is scheduled for Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. The event is celebrated at the fire station, located at 425 E. Third St.

The annual fund-raiser benefits the Eagle Volunteer Firefighters Association and through the years, it has paid for equipment and training that the department otherwise couldn’t afford.

Eagle Fire Chief Jon Asper has actually headed up the benefit for longer than he has been involved in the fire department. Back in 1986, he was the co-owner of a local restaurant and bar when three of the Eagle Fire Department stalwarts – Bill Jones, Bob Shelton and Ken Norman – approached him with the idea of a benefit. The department was in desperate need of an air compressor, but didn’t have the $5,600 purchase price in the budget. The idea of a barn dance was born and the event has been celebrated ever since.

Through the years, the barn dance proceeds have purchased a thermal imaging camera, “Fetch” – the department’s ATV, Jaws of Life and other extraction equipment, wildland firefighting gear and more. It has also paid for safety training.

According to Asper, the annual event raises between $5,000 and $8,000. But fund-raising is only one dimension of the event.

“This is kind of our thing to thank Eagle and Gypsum and the whole valley for what they do for us,” said Asper. “It kind of closes the summer and starts the fall.”

This year’s event will feature music by local band Airborn along with the department’s signature menu – barbecue beef, beans, corn and more. Asper said Shawn Moore and Jeff Lewis will be the masters of the barbecue and they will begin cooking around 8 a.m. Friday.

Tickets are $30 per family, $20 per couple and $15 per single. The ticket price covers the food and entertainment and door prizes. “You can feed your whole family for just $30 and go back for more as many times as you want to,” said Asper.

Kids also can enjoy free fire truck rides. A cash bar is set up for the event. The Eagle Valley High School Dance Team plans special performances at 6 p.m. and later in the evening after they perform at halftime at the EVHS football game.

Along with the meal, firefighters are selling raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5. Top prize is $1,000 cash. Second prize is $500 cash and third prize is $250 cash.

Barn dance and raffle tickets are available in advance at the fire station or at the gate on the night of the event. For more information call 328-7244.

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