By CHERIL VERNON
In Slocum, the biggest event of the year is coming up next weekend — the 37th annual Slocum Volunteer Fire Department Barbecue and Slocum Reunion.
The annual event is set for Saturday, May 11 and has a little of everything — parade, activities for children, entertainment, arts and crafts and a live auction.
“Our community is so supportive that we only have to do one fund-raiser a year,” Slocum VFD Chief Ben Missildine said. “I hope we have a good turnout and we hope everybody comes out to eat some very good barbecue.”
At 7 a.m. Saturday, a trail ride will be held in Slocum to start off the festivities. For details, call Jerod Mock at 903-731-0134.
A parade will start at 10 a.m.
Barbecue plates will be sold for $12 each starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We have 1,400 pounds of brisket we are cooking, 250 pounds of sausage and 250 pounds of hot links and couple of hams — lots of meat,” Missildine said. “We will be selling rib plates for the first time.”
Homemade pinto beans and potato salad also are included.
“It’s all homemade. The women in our community make 300 pounds of potato salad from scratch,” Missildine said.
Live entertainment featuring the Joker’s Heart Band will start at 11 a.m. Arts and crafts booths also will be set up and there will be activities for children.
“This year we will have a children’s area we call ‘Kids’ Land,’ with three bounce houses, a 20-foot slide that looks like a fire truck and a dunking booth,” Missildine said. “We plan to fence off the area around Kid Land to make it a safe place for the kids to be.”
Arts and crafts vendors are welcome to set up on a first-come, first-serve basis. While the booth space is free, vendors can give a donation to the fire department.
Auctioneer Melvin Chapin will lead a live auction at 1 p.m.
“We have several lots to auction off, plus because the event is the day before Mother’s Day, we have lots of things that cater to that,” Missildine said. “We have lots of good items this year — Yeti™ coolers, high-end tool sets, very good auction items — you get your money’s worth off the things we are selling.”
The annual school reunion will start at 2 p.m.
“They usually give an award for the oldest person in attendance that returned for the reunion and the one who came the farthest away,” Missildine said. “We have lots of people coming in for Slocum’s biggest annual event.”
Proceeds from the Slocum VFD Barbecue benefit the Slocum VFD, which covers 139 square miles — the largest territory to protect in Anderson County.
“Last year, we were able to purchase a new command vehicle. This year we are looking at replacing one of our tankers — it’s one of our oldest apparatus, the last one we need to replace,” Missildine said. “We hope to be able to get a grant to offset the cost of a new tanker.”
Contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be mailed to: Slocum VFD, 5710 E. St. Hwy 294, Elkhart, Texas, 75839.
For more information, contact one of the following: Ben Missildine at 903-724-0620 or Daniel Bailey at 903-721-4664. For reunion information, call Kay Watkins at 903-478-3318. For trail ride information, call Jerod Mock at 903-731-0134. For parade information, call Amanda Bailey at 903-922-1971.
Visit Slocum VFD online at www.slocumfire.org