Craig Fire/Rescue luau provides lively Saturday night | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Fire/Rescue luau provides lively Saturday night

Annual event benefits fire department’s scholarship fund

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

After nearly eight decades, it's still an event for which the people of Northwest Colorado have a burning love in their hearts, almost as much as they do for the people who stage it.

The 77th annual Firefighters' Ball and Luau hosted by Craig Fire/Rescue brought the atmosphere of the tropics to The OP Bar & Grill Saturday night as people gathered for good vibes and good times with the local fire brigade.

A dress code of tuxedos and ball gowns is not the way Craig's crew does it, with firefighters easy to spot in bright red aloha shirts, while Hawaiian attire such as muumuus and leis also invoked the islands.

Fire Chief and Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume had a different duty for the night, providing the musical entertainment from the restaurant's backdoor patio locale, also known as the No Float Showboat, cranking tunes as the DJ.

An energetic crowd enjoyed dinner and drinks and a bit of dancing — more classic rock and country than the traditional hula music — among other activities throughout the night, all while providing money for a worthy cause through the fire department's scholarship fund, which provides thousands of dollars to college-bound students each year.

Troy Hampton, battalion chief for Fire/Rescue, said the total has not yet been tabulated for how much money was raised, but he believes it will be close to last year’s $3,000.

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“It was a pretty good crowd, and I just love seeing everybody come out for this,” he said, noting the limbo contest and costume contest are always a hit.

Whitley Decker, wife of firefighter David Decker, won the limbo contest.

Members of the Northwest Colorado Chapter of the Parrotheads and Yampa Valley Young Professionals were among attendees who showed up to support the event.

YVYP President Kirstie McPherson was among those who stayed late into the night for the festivities, making good use of the dance floor.

“I’m just glad to be a part of it, I love being out with people,” she said. “It’s such a great cause, too.”