What started off of as a simple fundraiser for the North East Fire Department has developed into a cultural staple for the community.
Sandy Vanvolkenburg says she comes to Cherry Fest for the famous sausage, but to also contribute to a bigger cause. “I love supporting the the North East Fire Department,” said Vanvolkenburg. “Those men are so busy, I just really respect them and look up to them for all they do for us,” said Vanvolkenburg.
North East Fire Chief David Meehl says Cherry Fest brings in about $80,000 to $100,000 to the department. “Helps pays for their insurance, the training, equipment they need to do their job to help the community,” said Chief Meehl. The money helps fund equipment on the fire trucks like the jaws of life tool. “You know I can tell you, when you’re running two fire departments, it takes a lot of money,” said Chief Meehl. The North East Fire Department includes both the Crescent and Fuller Hose companies. While the festival is a crucial monetary factor for the fire department, some folks like to simply come out to enjoy the food, games and rides. “We’ve had some cotton candy, we’re going to get some cherry pie, we’re going to ride some rides. this reminds me a little bit like the Houston rodeo,” said Christopher Christian.
Cherry Fest will run all the way up until this Saturday, July 14th.