The past few weeks have been busy, but definitely a good kind of busy! While we were attending the Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, Cpt. Wines (Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen) and The Fire Critic were talking up a show that they were attending, The South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo, in Raleigh, North Carolina. They said that it was a show that I MUST ATTEND! It didn’t take long for me to realize this when they started telling about all the great events that were planned. They were planning on entering a BBQ Contest with a smoker they had recently purchased, a Cornhole competition, and they said the Brotherhood Bash put on by the Capital Area F.O.O.L.S. was always HUGE! I ended up working out my schedule so that I could drive down for a few days, and I soon realized just how right they were!
I arrived in Raleigh on Thursday evening and caught up with Cpt. Wines and The Fire Critic! They had already started setting up our area in the BBQ Competition, and we finished by adding a few items that we brought. They had everything from fire antiques to a fire hydrant set up! This was one of the first times that they had used their smoker, and once the 150 lbs’ of Boston Butt went on that evening…it was on! I enjoyed meeting brothers from Mooresville FD that were hanging around the site helping us get organized and cook!
One of the highlights for the evening was the NC Brotherhood Pipes and Drums stopping by our tent! They finished up their evening by playing in front of our area, and we were sure to provide each and every one of them with a cold beverage for their solid performance. It was a great opportunity to meet several of the guys from Atlantic Beach and the areas surrounding Raleigh!
The rest of the evening was full of activities as the brothers from NC and Rhett (The Fire Critic) held the fort down with the smoker, and Cpt. Wines and myself had a competition to go win. The Cornhole Competition! We had been hiding under the tent due to the weather that moved through for quite a while, and they moved the Cornhole competition inside due to the next round of weather that was headed through. We ended up pairing up with a team of brothers that we had met earlier in the day. While we didn’t win the game of “Bean toss” and were eliminated in the first round, we had one heck of a good time!
After pulling an all-nighter with the BBQ (cat nap here and there), we were pretty exhausted on Friday morning! We had 150lbs. of meat to cut up and turn in for the competition. It was no easy task, but with a little bit of team work…we knocked it out fairly quickly. We were able to head over to the showroom floor and catch up with several friends as we walked around on the show floor.
One of the highlights from walking around on the show floor was that I came across a kilt for sale that was hanging in the NC Brotherhood Pipes and Drums Booth. The Drum Major, Eric Stephenson, whom I had met on Thursday, was actually the one selling the kilt. I knew that I had to give it a shot, and I soon realized…it fit perfect! I was now officially ready for the Capital Area FOOLS Brotherhood Bash!
Drinks, Live Music, and BROTHERHOOD!
The Brotherhood Bash was like nothing I had seen before! The Capital Area FOOLS did a great job at hosting and planning this event! There were so many firefighters in attendance that it blew me away! I was able to pass out a few of my patches, hang out with several followers from the site, and just enjoy the event with brothers from across the state. We took quite a few photos, but none of them turned out as well as those of Mike Legeros and Lee Wilson! These guys attended all of the events throughout the weekend, and I’ve included links below! Unfortunately, I had to head out rather early due to having to drive back to The “Model City”. I wasn’t able to catch up with everyone to tell them goodbye, but it was a pleasure meeting each and every one of you!
The dates for next years event have already been released (August 13-15, 2015), and I hope to see you in Raleigh next year!