After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Murrieta Fire & Rescue (MFR) is hosting its annual Firefighter’s Barbeque on Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Murrieta’s Town Square Park. In celebration of MFR’s 75th anniversary, this year’s event will be bigger than ever with live music at Murrieta’s Town Square Park Amphitheater, in addition to a variety of activities throughout the day. The Murrieta Firefighter’s Barbeque is one of Riverside County’s longest running events, with the first barbeque held in 1948. As is the tradition, barbeque guests will enjoy a smoked tri-tip lunch, music, beer and wine garden, bag-toss tournament, and vendors’ market. Attendees will also get to cheer on fire explorers from throughout Southern California in the annual Fire Explorers “Muster” Competition.
The day will be filled with fun, food, and entertainment, and is a way for the community to show their support for the dedicated public safety personnel serving at MFR. It is also a way for MFR to show its appreciation for the community it has served the past 75 years. In addition to the traditional barbeque fare, this year’s event will feature additional food options and general vendors, live music, and a DJ. Fun for all ages, this is an event the Murrieta community won’t want to miss.
Interim MFR Fire Chief Mike Lopez expressed his pride in how far the department has come since its creation 75 years ago. “Being a part of Murrieta Fire & Rescue means being a part of a legacy of service to community. There is something special about an organization that started out as a volunteer department. To this day, 75 years later, our department maintains the same traditions of altruistically serving the community that our first firefighters had back in 1947, serving others before self with integrity, courage, and pride. It is an honor to see how far Murrieta Fire & Rescue has come and this year’s Firefighter’s Barbeque is sure to be bigger than ever and the perfect way to celebrate 75 years of service to Murrieta,” shared Chief Lopez.
Murrieta Fire & Rescue celebrates its 75th anniversary on April 16 of this year. It was on that day in 1947 that the citizens of Murrieta voted to form the Murrieta Fire Protection District. With $1,400 donated by the community, the Fire District purchased a 1941 International 4x4 crash truck. At the toll of a bell atop the Methodist Church, the 10 Fire District volunteers responded to six calls that first year. In 1987, Murrieta Fire & Rescue changed from an all-volunteer fire district to a combined career and volunteer-staffed Fire District. Always on the cutting edge of fire protection, in July 1990, it was the first fire department in Riverside County to implement the Emergency Medical Technician - Defibrillator (EMT-D). The department now employs 62 sworn personnel and 11 administrative staff. In August of 2018, MFR became the first accredited fire agency in Riverside County and the 18th in the state.
Attending the event is free with a nominal fee for the barbeque lunch. Discounted pre-purchased tickets ($15 for adult tickets and $10 for children tickets) are available on Murrieta Fire & Rescue’s website at www.murrietaca.gov/bbq. There will be a limited number of barbeque tickets available for purchase at the event. MFR is currently accepting applications for event vendors. Interested vendors should contact Firefighter Paramedic Eilert Meyers at [email protected]. For general inquiries, please contact Firefighter Engineer Michael Macalinao at [email protected] and be sure to follow @murrietafire on Instagram and Facebook for timely updates about the event.