NEWBERRY — The Newberry Fire Department will host Kids Fun Day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Piedmont Technical College on Wilson Road.
“This is a chance for the public to come out and see the equipment in their emergency services and to keep the community engaged in how the system works,” said Fire Chief Keith Minick. “This event builds relationships with the community. We would rather meet people at this event than at 2 o’clock in the morning at an emergency.”
Minick said his favorite parts of the Kids Day are meeting new people and seeing kids enjoying the equipment. He said it might also help him down the road.
“Who knows? It may encourage a child to pursue a career in one of the areas displayed or even volunteer in the future as a firefighter,” he said.
The Newberry Fire Department has been holding a free event like this for 25 years. For many years it was Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs, and then it changed to Newberry Fire Department’s Kid’s Fishing Rodeo.
“These events were held at Mr. Dave Waldrop’s pond in Silverstreet. We were grateful and thankful for his support by allowing us a place to hold this event for many years,” Minick said. “Several years ago, we transitioned to a more centralized area (Lowe’s parking lot) and changed to the Newberry Fire Department Kid’s Fun Day. Due to the event growing and other county fire and rescue departments displaying equipment, we had to relocate to the county property next to Piedmont Technical College.”
The original event was started by Captain Bobby “Stump” Rowe when he had the idea of a fishing tournament held at Lake Murray in the spring to raise money for the Kid’s Fishing Rodeo held in September. As time has changed with the funding, so did the event.
“The City of Newberry Fire Department currently hosts an annual golf tournament in the spring and portions of the proceeds help support the Kid’s Fun Day, still held on the second Sunday in September. We have grown to more community players helping with the event,” Minick said.
Hot dogs, sno-cones, popcorn and cotton candy will be provided by members of the community. The event is for children ages 2 to 14, but all are welcome to come out and meet their first responders.
“Several agencies will be on site to provide some educational messages for all. Someone from the fire, rescue, law enforcement, forestry, DNR, medical helicopter, hospital and other agencies will be on site to talk with all ages about the safety in the community. The fire safety house, bouncy house and demonstrations from different departments will keep kids busy as they stroll around,” Minick said.
Minick added that children cannot be dropped off at the event and must be supervised by an adult.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.