The Ararat Volunteer Fire Department will be offering a morning of family fun in celebration of Independence Day on Monday, continuing a longstanding holiday tradition in the community.
The day will begin with a parade, with line-up scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at Old Highway 52, adjacent to Ararat Road and Longhill Road. The parade is open to all entries that can be “pushed, pulled or dragged,” with floats particularly encouraged to take part. No entry fee or advance registration is required.
The parade will begin promptly at 9 a.m., making its way down Ararat Road to the fire station. Candy is encouraged and may be tossed to spectators along the route.
“Anyone is more than welcome to participate,” noted fire department Lieutenant Joy Masten. “We like a big parade with floats and entries that are colorful and patriotic.”
Upon arrival at the fire station, estimated to be around 10, an assortment of games, concessions and activities will be offered for the entire family.
Members of the Ararat Masonic Lodge will be on hand with barbecue for sale as a fundraiser and will also host a gun raffle.
Fire department personnel will be offering hot dogs, chips, drinks and ice cream, with proceeds to benefit the department. A raffle will also be held for an ORCA cooler.
Live music will be offered throughout the morning, with local talent Billy C. Smith taking the stage.
In the popular annual “mayor’s election,” assorted challengers will battle to unseat young incumbent Bailey Key. She is the daughter of Ararat Fire Chief Wes Key.
Activities in place for youngsters will include a fire truck bounce house.
“We’re hoping people will come out, have a good time and socialize with their neighbors,” Masten said. “We like to take this day as an opportunity to bring our community together and give them a chance to meet the firemen. We want them to know who we are and that we’re here for them.”