In Houston, hot fun in the summertime tends to extend into the autumn months. And once again, the Houston Fire Museum revved up the food and hospitality at its annual Fire Fest, held at the Houston Fire Department’s Val Jahnke Training Facility on Oct. 22.
It was a banner year of sorts for the HFD No. 6 team thanks to in-kind sponsor Axiom, which produced the team’s 16-foot-by-8-foot sign at Fire Fest‘s Firefighters’ BBQ Cook-Off. HFD No. 6 was one of more than 50 Houston-area firefighter teams that got cookin’ with gas, spices and competitive spirits, with the results feeding hundreds of attendees. (Seconds, anyone?)
Fire Fest is a time-honored tradition in Texas that recognizes firefighters in their communities. Various corporate sponsors have supported Fire Fest as the event has raised public awareness over the years. Proceeds from Houston’s Fire Fest benefit the Houston Fire Museum’s outreach programs.
Firefighter Mark Rives of HFD No. 6, located at 3402 Washington Ave, had modest expectations as his cook-off team competed in the brisket, ribs, beans and dessert categories. “Our main goal was to have a good time,” Rives said. “Some guys (from other teams) take it really seriously.” Rives added that he has learned a lot from the Fire Fest cook-off process, and he’s considering plans to add more seasoned culinary recruits.
Rives also lauded Axiom’s commitment to designing “The Avenue Cookers” sign, which combines images of Washington Avenue past and present.
Axiom’s Rodney Flores embraced the challenge of designing the banner, and produced vivid, timely results,
“Tom (Hair, president of Axiom) told me to get the feeling of Washington Avenue, which has become the ‘in’ street for young professionals. It’s a booming place right now. (The banner) was more of a visual history, taking cues from the historic buildings in the area.
“We developed a design that supported (Rives’) theme of Washington,” said Axiom senior art director Philip Ransdell, who credited Flores’ creativity as the driving force.
“The firemen loved it. They got it,” Flores added.
The landmark Fire Station 6 building (est. 1903), at 1702 Washington, is featured at the left side of the banner, while to the right, a modern firefighter appears to stand tall among the Houston skyline.
In addition to the BBQ cook-off, other Fire Fest activities included a ladder truck competition, live firefighting demonstrations, antique fire engines and modern response units, HFD Street Machines car show, vendors’ midway and live music.