Kettlersville Fireman’s Picnic returns in full force

By Blythe Alspaugh

KETTLERSVILLE — The 52nd Annual Kettlersville-Van Buren Township’s Fireman’s Picnic will see a return to form this year, bringing back community favorites such as kids games, 4-H booths, free pony rides, the cake wheel, and more.

“Last year, we did cancel the main event. We still had the chicken dinner drive-thru and the raffle, which was extremely successful. We missed having the people around, but the township and local community really supported us to our best profit picnic ever. It really turned out great,” Fire Chief Jim Cain said. “I think the community is really looking forward to coming back out and getting together and enjoying a good afternoon on Saturday.”

The picnic will be held Saturday, July 17, at the Van Buren Township Firehouse at 8833 North St. in Kettlersville, and runs from 3 p.m. until midnight. Chicken dinners begin at 4:30 p.m. and include a half chicken, coleslaw, chips and a roll at a cost of $10 per dinner, and will be served until supplies run out. Additionally, the hamburger stand and drinks is back and will run all day. The full schedule is as follows:

• 3 p.m.: Cake wheel, kids corn pit

• 4 p.m.: 4H booths, kids games

• 4:30 p.m.: Chicken dinners begin

• 5 p.m.: Ice cream booth

• 6 p.m.: Free pony rides until 8 p.m., Bingo, live music from The Inside Out Band and

• 8 p.m.: Live music from Will Inman

“I think, just like everyone else in the state, people are just glad to be getting back together and doing stuff as a community and group. That’s the feedback I’ve gotten so far, and we’re really looking forward to it,” Cain said.

The Ladies’ Auxiliary will also be holding a raffle drawing for a Blackstone 4-burner 36” griddle cooking station including side shelves, tool hooks and a magnetic tool bar, as well as a four-night stay at a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in spring 2022. The cabin includes three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, private porch, access to an indoor kids waterpark and pool. The cost to purchase tickets for both raffles is $5 per one ticket, or 5 tickets for $20. All proceeds go directly to the fire department, and Cain said that the funds raised at the Fireman’s Picnic cover the majority of the funding for the department.

“We run without a levy, so our fundraisers are our main source of income. This year, we have a couple of more SCVAs, which are the breathing devices firemen wear into fires — we have two of those to pick up yet, and that’ll finish us out. Our next big purchase moving forward is replacing fire hoses, which is pretty costly,” Cain said.

The Kettlersville-Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department is currently fully staffed with 35 volunteers, something Cain said they’re very fortunate to have. While the department serves Kettlersville and Van Buren Township, they are also a mutual aid department and assist with calls throughout Shelby county, as well as Auglaize and Logan county.

“We’re blessed with a lot of volunteers in this area. We get quite a few runs, and we’ve got volunteers who like to do it. It keeps them involved,” Cain said.

Cain added that the picnic will be happening, rain or shine, and that he hopes to see everyone in the community at the picnic.

“It’s pretty amazing that this little fire department has kept (the picnic) going for so long, and we’d like to keep that tradition going. Without the community support, that would never happen, so since they coming out and supporting us, we keep having it, and we enjoy it. We hope to see everybody out there,” Cain said.

By Blythe Alspaugh

Reach the writer at [email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]