Pauls Valley Democrat
The holiday bug may have already bitten quite a few caught up in anticipation of the season, but for Pauls Valley, one event always signals the start of Yuletide festivities.
Helping to bring the celebratory atmosphere to 2012 on Monday, Dec. 3 is the PV Fire Department’s annual chili supper.
Always held right before the Christmas Parade of Lights, it is promised to once again meet the hungry demands that continues to grow every time it is held.
“We served around 350, 360 last year... we had a one gallon bag left,” said Brian Black, fire department chaplain. “We’ve already planned for an extra 10 to 20 pounds of meat.”
Originally started as a way to provide a little extra money to ease the expenses of fighting fires, the pay by donation event has become more community fellowship than just a critical line of support.
Also helping is a sales tax approved by voters back in March that benefits all departments in Garvin County with extra funding.
These days the money is still needed, but instead of buying big items like fuel or equipment, the funds raised help pay for smaller items from gloves to masks as well as training, said Black. There’s no specific amount being asked for and any amount will help out the cause.
“Those are the kind of things that can nickel and dime us to death,” said Black.
“While it’s not as bad as a Rush Creek or a Walker before the sakes tax, the proceeds from the chili supper help that.”
Some of the most popular chili has been the spicier version, which seems to run out faster, said Black.
To accommodate all the ingredients that has to be cooked, the hospital in recent years has opened its kitchen to prepare the food before it is left to warm up again Monday.
“We let it simmer all day on Monday so this place smells like a chili factory,” said Black, who plans to add his own flair to the mix with peppers from his own garden. “We’ve had a request for more of the spicy hot so we’ll make more of that.”
There will also be plenty to drink from tea to lemonade and desserts for those who want something sweet afterward, said Black.
Kids will be welcomed to check out the ever popular fire engines, which has not lost appeal in over a decade of suppers.
Those wishing to enjoy the food are welcomed to stop by once the doors at the fire department open from 5 p.m. until the parade gets going, said Black. The building is located at the corner of McClure and Walnut streets.
“The kids love to look at the trucks, climb on them,” said Black. “We’ll be glad to see everyone again.”