Bellows Falls plans barbecue and firefighters parade

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BELLOWS FALLS — How do you plan a barbecue for more than 200?

This Sunday's Bellows Falls community barbecue will honor area firefighters and the community. Bellows Falls village trustees, the hosts of the cookout, said Tuesday they'd love some help from the community.

Sunday marks the annual Bellows Falls Firemen's Parade, in which area fire departments show off their equipment, manpower and uniforms.

Last year, the village trustees decided to try something new, and add a community barbecue in what they described as a "thank you" to the community after a tumultuous year in the village — which included the reformation of the Bellows Falls Village Fire Department from a paid department to an on-call department, a move that saved village taxpayers quite a bit of money but created some hard feelings.

Village President Deborah Wright said she hoped the residents of the village would come to the parade and stay to ask questions of their elected officials during the barbecue.

She said she welcomed all kinds of questions.

"Questions on how topics they are concerned about are progressing or what we are working on. Questions like 'when is my street going to get a new sidewalk?' What are you going to do about high taxes? Where is all the money going? There will be questions on drugs, policing, water and wastewater rates, I am sure," she said Wednesday.

She noted that Municipal Manager Wendy Harrison would also be there.

"We are elected to serve the public all year. At the barbeque, we serve them directly and we are willing and able to attempt to answer any questions they may have," she said.

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The village trustees, meeting in special session Tuesday afternoon, planned the event.

Wright said she received a $100 check from Trustee James McAuliffe to help pay for food. The menu is the standard: hamburgers, hot dogs, cold salads, baked beans, and cake, cookies and brownies.

Wright said the trustees will handle the hamburgers and hot dogs, but that any pot luck contributions such as salads and baked beans, or cookies and brownies, would be more than welcome.

Trustee Jonathan Wright said last year they cooked about 110 hamburgers and 200 hot dogs, and only hot dogs were left over.

Village resident Hope Bressette said she pledged to make a double batch of macaroni salad. "It was all gone last year," she said.

Harrison said there is a good chance there will be even more people at the barbecue this year than last, because notice of the event was included in recent village tax mailings.

Lineup for the fire departments in the parade starts at noon on Sunday, and the parade starts promptly at 1 p.m. The barbecue is expected to start around 2:30 p.m.

Bellows Falls Fire Chief Shaun McGinnis said he expects about a dozen different fire departments to participate in the parade, and he said the adults and children in the various bands in the parade would also attend the barbecue.

"We want people to ask questions and give us feedback," said Deborah Wright.

Contact Susan Smallheer at o at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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