With live music, a pancake breakfast, prizes and numerous vendors selling anything from crafts to potato chips, some may find it hard to believe that this large event was once just a smaller community rummage sale.
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Although the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Firefighters’ Association Annual Labor Day Bazaar has seen several changes throughout its 39 years of existence, one thing has never changed — the event’s mission to bring community members together and serve those in need.
The Annual Labor Day Bazaar will be held on Monday, Sept. 5, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Downtown Diamond Springs.
The event will begin with a pancake breakfast at the Mother Lode Lions Hall, 4701 Missouri Flat Road, complete with sliced ham, watermelon, coffee, juice, and of course, pancakes. The breakfast will last from 7 to 11 a.m.
Aside from members of the fire department helping serve the breakfast, about 16-18 members of the Leo Club at Union Mine High School will volunteer their services to help the event run smoothly.
Shortly after the breakfast, a parade will start at 1 p.m. that runs from the east end of Diamond Springs and finishes on Missouri Flat Road. Traffic will be stopped on these roads for the duration of the parade, but with signs, detours, and help from the Highway Patrol, the road closure should not be too inconvenient for others.
The firefighters are not sure who will be in the parade since it mainly comprises of all volunteers. People who want to be in the parade simply show up in their old cars, or ready to march and then the event proceeds from there.
There will also be many activities behind the fire station, such as the food vendors and live music. The coordinators wanted to take a lot of the event off of the street (which was where many more booths were located in the past) and transfer some of it to the outdoor park area instead. This space will also feature bounce houses and other children’s activities as well.
More than 50 vendors will be set up around the fire station and on the surrounding streets. Community members are allowed to sign up for 10 by 20 foot spaces and can sell miscellaneous items such as crafts, knickknacks or old treasures.
Additionally, raffle tickets are currently available at the Diamond Springs Fire House for $1 each. Tickets will also be sold on the day of the event. The prizes include a 50 inch flat screen television and a 14 foot boat.
There are two entities that run this fire department — the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Protection District and the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Firefighters’ Association. The Firefighters’ Association works hand-in-hand with the fire protection department to promote the organization.
Both groups have been collaborating to serve the needs of the community and ensure many people’s safety.
“This fire department is truly a community fire department,” said Firefighters’ Association President Tom Anderson, 54, of Diamond Springs. “It is because of the generosity and sacrifice of the citizens of Diamond Springs and El Dorado that this department continues to thrive.”
The money from this fundraiser will go towards several essential items that the fire department needs in order to keep giving back to the community. The funds will be used to update the radios and to purchase new firefighting clothing.
Also, the money will aid in recruiting and retaining new volunteers for the fire department.
The fundraiser also helps the department manage the Firefighters’ Hall so that they can offer it at a low price to people who really need use of the facility.
“A lot of times there are people in need in our community, and we offer assistance to them through the use of our Firefighters’ Hall, where they can host fundraisers for sick children or other causes like that,” said Anderson. “We offer the hall to them at a minimal cost.”
The members of the Fire Protection Department and Firefighters’ Association hope that the event will just be another opportunity for the community to gather, connect, and help out the organization at the same time.
“It’s really given me a sense of community,” said Anderson when describing how much the fire department means to him and how he wants to continue to help. “It’s just been very meaningful.”
For more information about the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Firefighters’ Association Annual Labor Day Bazaar visit diamondfire.org or call 530-626-3190.