Blue Rapids Firemen’s Fall Festival Saturday In Blue Rapids

The area’s autumn celebrations continue this Saturday, October 8, with the Firemen’s Fall Fest on the square in downtown Blue Rapids.

The event is sponsored by the Blue Rapids Fire Department and the Marshall County Arts Cooperative.

For the past nine years, the fest has been held at the Marshall County Fairgrounds. This year, the benefit is moving to downtown Blue Rapids.

“We’ve always wanted to have this on the square,” said Ryan Woodyard, a member of the fire department. “The forecast looks like it’s going to be in our favor Saturday for the fish fry and the great music.”

The event starts at 4 p.m. with a beer garden. The fish fry begins at 5 p.m. The meal includes catfish, homemade baked beans, potato salad, potato chips and tea. A freewill donation will be collected.

The community center will be open for those wanting to eat indoors.

Two bands will provide live music at the event. KJ Bowers will play from 5-8 p.m. and Big Time Grain Company will play from 8:30-11:30 p.m.

Bowers’ acoustic set will feature music from the 1970s through the 2000s.

No stranger to Marshall County, Big Time Grain Company headlines this year’s fest with country western and country rock. Last year, the band opened for The Beach Boys at Alcove Spring Historic Park. A few years ago they performed in Marysville for the Big Blue River Days celebration.

The event is a fundraiser for the fire department. Twenty-eight men are members of the team; they are led by Jason Hemry, chief.

“We are a proud and dedicated group of guys that enjoy serving and protecting our community,” Hemry said.

The fire department provides support to the city of Blue Rapids in addition to approximately 110 square miles surrounding the city.

The volunteer firefighters enjoy working with the community. A highlight for the group is during fire prevention week in October; they go to the Blue Rapids elementary school to give the students and faculty a lesson about fire safety at home and school.

Throughout the year they host fundraisers to raise money for the department and the community.

“Our annual fish fry is one of our big event fundraisers so that we can contribute money back to the July 4th fireworks display,” Hemry added.

In addition to the live music and food, bounce houses will be in front of the Blue Rapids Public Library, 14 Public Square. The bounce houses are sponsored by the Blue Rapids Community Action Team.

Those attending are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

This is the tenth annual fish fry. For more information people may call 785-859-4260.


Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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