HELENA – People from the Helena are and beyond gathered in York Saturday for the annual York Fest celebration.
Throughout the day, York Fire-Rescue volunteers took turns serving visitors at the firefighters’ breakfast and lunch.
“We’re trying to do the best we can to make sure everybody gets fed today at York Fest,” said Nick Lende, a captain with the department.
Lende has lived in the area and served with York Fire-Rescue for about six years.
“I’ve been here every year, helping out with the festivities,” he said.
This year’s York Fest featured live music, live and silent auctions and a variety of vendors set up in Shirley C. Olson Memorial Park.
The organizers also sold 2,250 plastic ducks, to be used in the afternoon’s popular duck race. The ducks are dropped into Trout Creek, and the first one to reach a finish line several hundred feet downstream earns the person who bought it a prize.
York Fire-Rescue has been running the duck race for more than 20 years. Chief John Naylor said many of the ducks have actually been reused, year after year, since the event began.
Events like the breakfast, lunch and the duck race raise money for York Fire-Rescue, while the auctions support both the department and the York Community Association.
The fire department uses fundraisers like this to pay for equipment, training and other improvements they wouldn’t be able to afford on the base budget alone. Currently, York Fire-Rescue is collecting money to pay for a future fire station off Nelson Road near the Eldorado Heights subdivision.
Lende said he’s thankful for the volunteers and visitors who helped make York Fest a success.
“It’s really fun to have the community up here and see their support of our fire department,” Lende said.
He said the event also a great chance to show off what York has to offer.
“It gives us the opportunity to bring people in around from the community and introduce them to basically our play area, where we hang out everyday,” he said.