MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - What’s better than a summer afternoon spent enjoying some music, food, and good company? Doing so while helping out a wonderful cause. That’s what’s going to be happening on the afternoon of Sat., Sept. 7 from 3 - 7 p.m. during the Inaugural Magnolia Springs Firefighters Festival taking place on the lawn in front of the Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire Department (14809 Gates Avenue). The event costs just $15 for adults and $5 for kids ten and under. Adult tickets 21 and over also include two drink tickets that can be used for beer or wine. Tickets can be purchased on the department’s website at magnoliaspringsfire.com.
“This will be our first big fundraising event in a very long time,” said volunteer firefighter Yael Girard. “It may be the first time for this event, but it’s definitely something that’s been in thoughts for a while.”
The event will boast live musical acts from Shelby Brown of The Voice and Roadside Glorious (whose music videos can be viewed online). There will be a place in front of the stage that festival goers can place a blanket and enjoy some tunes, and plenty of space for those who want to dance. Food trucks from Los Tacos, Bleus Burger, and Porterhouse BBQ will be serving up some food on the day of the event, with a food truck from Frios offering some popsicle treats for dessert. A kids’ section will be set up featuring a bounce house, an inflatable waterslide, and more, while vendors will be onsite with items for purchase.
“The kids’ section is free, enjoying the music is free, the only thing people are going to be paying for once they come into the event is for the food trucks and the Arts and Crafts vendors that will be selling their wares,” said Girard.
Hannah Driskell, wife of Chief Kaylan Driskell, has been thinking of hosting a fundraiser for the fire department for a while, and last year a committee was formed after new firefighters, Girard included, joined the unit. They put together their combined organizational skills and began really focusing on the festival back in April. The committee worked together to recruit sponsors and vendors, then presented the results to the rest of the department to raise excitement. Girard said the firefighters have had help and support from the board, from family, and from the Town of Magnolia Springs.
“This is such a tight-knit community, we found that the businesses are responsive and the vendors in the area are really excited to help support us,” Girard said. “They know that we are coming to incidents that happen at their business or their home or on their roads, and I think people can really get behind that.”
All of the funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales go to the Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire Department and will be used in the purchase of fire equipment. Girard states specialized equipment is extremely expensive, sometimes even costing thousands of dollars for only one set of gear. She says the funds raised from the event will be beneficial in offsetting some of those costs and allow the unit to equip its responders, firefighters, and EMTs with the best equipment and best training possible.
For anyone interested in becoming a vendor during the event, there’s only a limited number of spots, and the department will continue to book vendors either until the spots are full or through the first of September, whichever comes first. Sponsorships are also available, though the deadline to be featured on the special event t-shirt (which will be sold during the festival) has passed.
“If you become a sponsor now we unfortunately can’t feature you on the shirt, but there’s other ways for sponsors to be recognized,” Girard said. “The closer it gets to the event, the less we can promote a business, but if anyone wants to sponsor still they can.”
The Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire Department is a non-profit organization, so all sponsorships and donations are tax deductible.
Information about the event, sponsorships, and vendor applications are available on magnoliaspringsfire.com. You can also follow the Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire Department on Facebook.
“We feel like this is a really good cause,” said Girard. “This is a super active group of firefighters who respond to over 400 calls a year, all volunteers coming out. We’ve seen it already that this community supports what we do, and we hope that they’ll come to be part of the festival.”