Originally Published: July 12, 2012 12:01 a.m.
For a quick trip to the islands that benefits local people in need, bring the family to the third annual Luau at the Old Firehouse Plaza in Prescott on Saturday, July 14.
"The annual luau has become the party of the summer in Prescott," said Kristi Gagnon, chairwoman of Prescott Firefighters' Charities, a nonprofit that will benefit from the luau. "No one will want to miss this great event."
People are encouraged to dress in Hawaiian clothing and donate $5 to enter the luau, which will include a pig roast that starts at 3 p.m. and runs until midnight, a sand volleyball tournament, a hula hoop demonstration, two live bands - Blue Steel, which will take the stage at 4:30 p.m., and Agent Audio at 8 p.m. - and a fire-dancing show by PyroKlectic at 9 p.m., said Linda Forbes, who co-owns the Old Firehouse Plaza.
"It's just getting bigger and better, and we're trying to expand it each year," Forbes said.
The Firehouse Kitchen helps organize the event each year, provides the authentic pig roast, alcohol, and a wide variety of foods, books the entertainment, and also came up with the idea for more activities for kids this year, said Aaron Meisheid, co-owner of The Firehouse Kitchen with Matt Anderson.
Forbes said she and her husband Robin came up with the idea for the luau two years ago as a way to do something new for the community that would benefit local charities.
"During the day it's more of a family event with the sand volleyball tournament, the Island Shop Hop for adults, and the Island Toy Hop for kids, but as the night progresses it becomes more of an adult event," Forbes said.
All proceeds from the event will once again go to Prescott Firefighters' Charities, whose volunteers use 100 percent of the money received to help people in need in our community, Gagnon said.
"The more people who come out to the luau, the bigger and better impact we can have within our community," Gagnon said.
Starting at 10 a.m., adults can take part in an Island Shop Hop, where they present a tour guide booklet at each shop in the Old Firehouse Plaza to get it stamped by each merchant. Children can accompany them for an Island Toy Hop and receive small toys at each shop, and kids can make crafts including sun visors there until 4 p.m., Forbes said.
Adults can turn in their Island Shop Hop booklet before 6 p.m. to be entered in a 6:45 p.m. drawing for a gift basket with $1,000 in gift certificates to plaza shops.
The sand volleyball tournament will begin at 10 a.m. on two courts at the corner of Goodwin and Granite streets, and the championship game will be played at 7 p.m., Gagnon said. CLM Earthmovers sponsors the sand volleyball tournament, made possible after tons of sand are used to create a beach on Goodwin Street in front of the Firehouse Plaza.
"I came out to have some fun in the sun and do something good for the local charities," said Prescott resident Pat Kadrmas during the tournament last year. "For me, it's great to see all these guys that I don't see very often, and get to play and have fun in the sand."
To sign up a four-player co-ed team for the tournament, go to www.prescottffcharities.org, Gagnon said. All players must be over 18, and there is a $60 early registration fee.
Raffle prizes will be drawn every hour with the grand prize, a trip for two to Hawaii sponsored by Tim's Auto Group, raffled off at 7:30 p.m. Lowe's donated several patio sets and barbecues for the raffle prizes; other prizes include hotel stays, golf packages, professional sports teams tickets and more.
"We raised about $10,000 last year, and we are hoping to double that amount this year," Gagnon said.
Prescott Firefighters' Charities used the proceeds from last year's event to purchase car seats for a family that suffered a vehicle fire while taking the kids to school, and to help several families during the winter season. The fund bought numerous smoke alarms for people who had none in their homes, and the charity donated money to the Arizona Children's Burn Camp and the Yavapai Food Bank, Gagnon said.
For more information about the luau and the nonprofit, visit www.prescottffcharities.org.