On Aug. 21, the garden center at White’s Ace Hardware at Fishers, 11881 Lakeside Dr., will be the site of a barbeque battle between several fire stations of the Fishers Fire Dept. At stake are bragging rights and a Traeger grill.
Between five to seven stations are expected to compete.
The barbeque cookoff is an annual event held by the Fishers Fire Foundation that raises money to support firefighters who suffer injuries or have other needs The foundation also has a scholarship fund to help children of firefighters purchase books and supplies for school and college.
The cookoff starts at 5 p.m., but the fire stations will start setting up as early as 7:30 or 8 a.m. to prepare their chicken, ribs and pulled pork. The contestants also must provide a side dish for the judges. Samples will be sold to the community to raise funds after the contest.
“We definitely have a variety of cooks and chefs in the firehouses,” said Will Ortiz, president of the Fishers Fire Foundation. “We’ve varied styles, from St. Louis to Kansas City to good old Indiana-type barbeque. The signature will be different for each one.”
The firehouses will bring their own grills, but the winner will leave with a new Traeger Ironwood 885 grill as a trophy.
“That’s been something that everyone has been excited about. There’s been a lot of smack talking going back and forth between the firehouses about who’s going to win the Traeger,” Ortiz said. “In the past we had a trophy and bragging rights, but now we have this added reward.”
Jeff Howe, a spokesperson for Ace Hardware, said the company is delighted to host the event and provide grill trophy.
“All of this is really about giving back to the community and our first responders,” Howe said. “When you think of firefighters, you know they have to cook for each other. They pull their money and cook for whoever is on crew for that period of time. We want to add to the cooking experience.”
Howe’s brother is a volunteer firefighter in Texas.
“I know the commitment that it takes from these guys,” Howe said. “They’re on 12-hour shifts, away from their families. It’s a small community. Each one of those fire stations is as if it’s its own family. One of the big parts of that community building is the meals they share together. You have barbeque and firefighters. I don’t know how it can get any better.’