Bellows Falls community barbecue to return

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BELLOWS FALLS — Last year's community barbecue was such a success that plans are underway to repeat it for the beginning of October.

The community cookout, which was held the same Sunday as the traditional Bellows Falls Fire Department's annual parade, was originally conceived as a "thank you" to the community by the village trustees after a year of change and turmoil. The 2019 barbecue is set for Oct. 13.

Last year's cookout was a volunteer event, with no tax dollars used, and the trustees said that would be repeated for the 2019 barbecue.

"The fire department was a great location," said Village President Deborah Wright, who came up with the idea last year.

Wright and others trustees worked the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs with donated and purchased food, while village residents and townspeople brought salads and baked beans.

Trustee Stefan Golec contributed a "giant, giant cake," Wright noted.

Wright and other trustees said that Bellows Falls businesses also contributed to the community event, with Cota & Cota Oil contributing not just the grill to cook the food, but the gas to power it.

"We will not burden the village budget," she said.

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Four of the five trustees said they would be available for the Oct. 13 date. Trustee James "Jiggs" McAuliffe said he wouldn't be able to attend but would contribute "a good-sized check."

Trustee Jonathan Wright, whose former business Cafe 7 contributed food to last year's event, suggested that the village use some of its $500 discretionary fund to help pay for the event.

Municipal Manager Wendy Harrison said the fund has increased by $300 to a total of $800 this year, but Deborah Wright said the increase was to be used for retirees. There was a general agreement that tax dollars would not be used by the barbecue, and that in addition to the board's own contributions, area businesses would be solicited.

"It would be great to do it without" tax dollars, said McAuliffe.

"We want to thank those who donated last year," said Jonathan Wright, who noted that the board members could again be seeking donations.

Village Clerk Kathleen Neathawk said she was reminded by former Village Clerk Kerry Bennett that the event needs additional tables for people to sit, and that the grillmasters should start cooking before the end of the parade. The concern, Wright said, is to avoid cold food.

"It was a good day," she said of last year's event.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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