Concert to benefit police, fire and rescue squads

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By John Barnhart

Bedford's parks and recreation department wants to honor some local people who help us all.

Called the Hometown Heroes' Benefit Concert, the event will raise money for the Bedford City Police Department and Bedford's volunteer fire department and rescue squad, stated Shawn Duff, the administrative assistant for the city's parks and rec department. It all takes place from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Liberty Lake Park on Saturday, July 26.

The city of Bedford Parks and Recreation Department, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Bedford Welcome Center are sponsoring the event. The Bedford Bulletin, Golden West Foods and Wal-Mart are also supporting the event with donations.

The stage will be set up on the infield section of field #2. This is the ball field near the concession stand. This will provide space for people to spread out blankets or set up camp chairs.

Bring your children, but please leave your furry friends at home. Don't bring coolers, either. Concession sales is how the rec department plans to raise the money. Duff said rec department employees are doing as much as they can themselves in order to maximize the amount of money that they can distribute to the city's emergency services organizations.

Concessions will be on sale from 11 a.m. ? 8 p.m. There will be hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch and dinner with a wide variety of snacks such as cotton candy, funnel cakes, sno-cones and popcorn.

According to Duff, there will be a number activities for children. These include a water slide and water play area, face painting, carnival games and bounce inflatables. There will also be a dunking booth and Randy Nixon, the director of parks and recreation, will be take a turn at getting wet. Members of Bedford's city council will also be in the wet seat, so adults may want to get in on this, too.

There will be educational opportunities with a focus on emergency preparedness. The Virginia Cooperative Extension will have search and rescue personnel on hand. There will be information on bicycle safety, pet safety and first aid. Parents can have their children fingerprinted or find out if the child safety seat in the car is installed correctly.

The educational booths will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the concession stand will serve food from 11 a. m. until 8 p.m. Concessions will include hamburgers and hot dogs, funnel cakes, sno-cones, popcorn and cotton candy.

Music begins at 11:30 a.m. with Terry Day. Generic Folk comes on stage at 1:30 p.m. followed by Minus John, a Blues band, at 3 p.m. That Band with the Fat Kids is on stage at 4:30 p.m. and Pullouts perform at 6 p.m. These two are alternative rock. Westwind, which does Southern Rock and Country, performs at 7:30 p.m. Duff said that they've scheduled 45 minutes between performers, with a DJ to fill in during those times.

"We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all those first responders who put their lives on the line for us every day and who are always there and willing to help those in need," a press release on the event stated. "We hope to see all of you out at Liberty Lake Park on July 26. It?s a great opportunity to say thanks and enjoy a fun filled Bedford family day in the park. Come on out."

Admittance and parking will be free. There will be a small charge for concessions and children's entertainment.