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Father’s Day barbecue returns to Pierrepont for 25th year

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PIERREPONT — The smell of barbecue filled the air at the Pierrepont Fire Department on Sunday, as volunteers prepared the annual Father’s Day chicken cookout fundraiser.

This was the barbecue’s 25th year, and the fire hall was filled despite the rain.

“It seems to be growing every year,” said Peter J. Hoyt, the firefighter who organizes the event.

“We always worry that the weather or the economy might bother us, but it didn’t seem to. It’s nice to see,” he said.

It takes more than 20 volunteers to put the event together every year. Almost 450 chicken halves were served.

The rain did slow the crowd down a little, according to firefighter Richard A. Carrier.

“It’s not as rushed as it sometimes is,” he said, hoping for a chance to actually try some of the food he helped serve. “It’s good stuff. Most of the time it’s sold out before we get a taste of it ourselves.”

After he helped clean up, Mr. Carrier planned to spend Father’s Day afternoon with his two children and three grandchildren.

Meals, which included chicken, baked beans, potatoes and a slice of pie for dessert, cost $8.50 apiece, or $8 for seniors. The Pierrepont Fire Department usually makes about $1,000 profit, which goes toward equipment and other events, Mr. Hoyt said.

According to Maryhelen M. Peebles, Canton, the food is worth the price.

“It’s really good. They do a nice job, and they’re friendly,” she said.

Ms. Peebles sat with three generations at her table. Her husband, Michael M., daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren joined, along with her son-in-law’s parents, who also live in Canton.

Her daughter, Deborah Mace, was visiting Canton from Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, Brian, and two children. They came to celebrate Father’s Day, as well as Brian’s birthday.

“We’re up here for a little while. We’re trying to do it more,” Mrs. Mace said.

Seeing families get together is part of what the barbecue is all about, and why it is held on Father’s Day every year, according to Mr. Hoyt.

“It’s nice to see all the dads out here,” he said.

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