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Competition features something for all ages

By: Ashley Cisek
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By Ashley Cisek News Messenger Intern  Lincoln’s inaugural Firemen’s Muster activities on July 18 and 19 are aimed at reaching out to all ages. Fireman’s Musters, endorsed by the California Fireman’s Muster Association, have been active since 1975. The Fireman’s Musters give California firefighters, and those with firefighting knowledge and antique firefighter apparatuses, a chance at some old-fashioned friendly competition in activities such as bucket brigade, hose-cart racing and hand-engine pumping. “Our motto is ‘fellowship though competition,’” said Kim Silva, co-vice president of the California Fireman’s Muster Association and a Lincoln resident. The city of Lincoln hosted a one-day fun muster last year. “It was to give it a run through and see if it was something they were interested in doing,” Silva said. The Fireman’s Muster will be held in downtown Lincoln on F Street between Seventh and Fifth streets. City officials hope the event will bring in more tourism into Lincoln and promote the historic downtown, according to a city official. “We’re not putting on this event to make money,” said Steve Art, economic and redevelopment manager for the city of Lincoln. “The purpose of this event is to expose people to downtown.” According to Art, the redevelopment office gives the Historic Downtown Merchants Association an annual budget to plan events to promote downtown Lincoln. “It’s not fun money; its redevelopment money,” Art said. “ … We want the downtown to be successful.” The event is free to the public with the exception of a dinner dance held on July 18 for $15. “The Historic Downtown Merchants Association and the LPFD (Lincoln Professional Firefighters Association) have a combined budget for this event for about $16,000,” said Earl Stephens, events coordinator for the Historic Downtown Lincoln Merchants Association. “Any profits from the event will go to assist the community, downtown Lincoln merchants and the Lincoln Professional Firefighters Association.” “As money becomes available, we hope to promote downtown and beautify,” Stephens said. “And to attract more business.” Stephens said that the overall goal of the Fireman’s Muster event is to bring more visitors to Lincoln and, more specifically, to downtown. “With a sanctioned muster, there will be significantly more participants attending this year versus last year’s Fun Muster,” Stephens said. “We should have more participants, antique firefighting equipment, and community involvement this year.” In addition to the muster course, according to Stephens, there will be numerous family events that weekend. Those events include a pancake breakfast, an art show sponsored by Lincoln Arts,children’s events such as a Bounce House and rock climbing wall, antique car and hot rod display, beer garden and dinner dance with Dudley and the Doo-Rights. “If we can attract return visitors to downtown Lincoln, we’ve accomplished a lot,” Stephens said. Know and Go schedule of events Saturday, July 18: 9 a.m. The Fireman’s Parade 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fireman’s Muster 5 p.m. Dinner Dance Sunday, July 19: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fireman’s Muster Where: Downtown Lincoln, on F Street between Seventh and Fifth streets