Members of the Racine Fire Department work to clean one of the trucks for the Independence Day parade. Submitted photo.

RACINE, Ohio – Members of the Racine Fire department have been busy getting ready for the annual Fourth of July festivities. Department members and the Ladies Auxiliary have been preparing since the middle of June with making of ice cream, ordering supplies, as well as cleaning the trucks and the station.

The activities start for department members on the fourth at 3:30 a.m. with members starting the fire in the BBQ pit. Chickens start to cook early in the morning to be ready for the 11 a.m. serve time. At 9 a.m. some of the members go to the the high school where line up starts for the parade at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. following the parade, the serving of 875 chicken dinners and 95 gallons of homemade ice cream begins. Some years this takes just over a hour for them to sell out of dinners and ice cream. Clean up follows which can take up to two hours. Firefighters get a break until evening when they set up the fireworks. The fireworks display begins at 10 p.m. The routine of BBQ, parade and fireworks for the department is a tradition that has been going on for many years. It is a major fundraiser for the department for the year as well. Fire Chief Boyd Bailey expressed the department’s gratitude for the public’s continued support.

For Independence Day 2018, the Ladies Auxiliary has prepared homemade ice cream in many flavors including banana, chocolate, vanilla, pineapple, orange pineapple, strawberry, cherry nut, pistachio, black walnut, peach, butter pecan, and lemon. Ice cream is available by the pint for a donation of $3.

Chicken dinners are available for a donation of $9 which includes sides and chicken. Sides for the dinner are baked beans, potato salad, and a roll.

Each year the men and women of the Racine Fire Department work like other volunteer departments to fundraise throughout the year so when called upon in times of emergency, they are prepared with the proper equipment and training.