German culture, fire safety combine for hot festival
A "junior firefighter" sits in a military fire truck at last year's Hotoberfest, which attracted about 500 visitors. The event provides fire safety displays, children's activities, live music and German food.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Fort Jackson Fire Department and Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation will co-host Fort Jackson's second annual Hotoberfest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday at the Fire Station.

During the combined Fire Safety Day and Oktoberfest celebration, Fort Jackson's community members will be able to participate in a carnival of fun and educational activities, like simulating escaping a fire in the fire prevention activity trailer, climbing a rock wall, bouncing in inflatable houses, having their faces painted, getting balloon animals from Boots the Clown, dancing with Sparky the Fire Dog and listening to the music of live bands.

The theme for this year's event is "Beep, Beep, Beep, Smoke Alarms - a sound you can live with."
"We hope the attendees will learn to be more mindful of checking their home fire detectors monthly and changing the battery ensure proper operation," said Jamal Black, Fort Jackson fire inspector. "Smoke alarms can save lives if working properly."

"If we are able to instill even just a little fire safety education in one child or one adult, and that fire safety education saves one life, then mission accomplished," Black said.

The Fire Safety Day portion of the event coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Monday through Friday.

The Oktoberfest portion is modeled after the Oktoberfest festival that takes place in late September through the first week of October in Munich.

Charles Stoudemire, FMWR recreation programmer, said before the events were combined last year, each was held separately, with coordinators competing for the same date.

"After some discussions we agreed that we could have a better event if we combined forces and made one really big event that the whole community would enjoy," Stoudemire said.

"Combining Fire Safety Day with Oktoberfest allows us to have a greater impact on the audience, because we can provide a fun-filled event, as well as educate the public on fire safety," Black said.

About 500 people attended last year's Hotoberfest. Black said he hopes for a larger turnout this year.

Stoudemire said he hopes the attendees come away with a better understanding of how they can protect their homes and possibly save someone's life, and beyond that, have "a fun day and catch a little bit of the Oktoberfest spirit."

IF YOU GO

-- The 282nd Army Band Rock Ensemble will perform from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
-- The Original Five Points Wild Irish Band will perform from noon to 2 p.m.
-- Information booths will be set up by Balfour Beatty, Red Cross and other agencies.
-- German food will be available for purchase.

Page last updated Wed September 29th, 2010 at 14:56