CHESTER - With the promise of a two-day event that includes cash drawings both days and a concert featuring country headliners LeAnn Rimes and Clint Black, the ticket requests for the 2011 Fall Bash are coming into the Chester Volunteer Fire Department at a fast and furious pace.
"These are all just from today's mail," said Chief John Hissam as he held a stack of envelopes.
While discussing the delivery of several thousand brochures with Jim Taylor, owner of Taylor Made Printing of Wheeling, at the fire house Thursday afternoon, Hissam fielded several phone calls.
Hissam said people send mail requests and also come to the station to get the tickets in person. He told one caller they don't take orders over the phone or the Internet, because that's prohibited by West Virginia law.
"We're doing things right," he said.
This is the 10th year for the Fall Bash, which over the years has helped the firefighters purchase equipment, pay for training and make improvements to the fire station. Last year's event helped fund this year's project; purchase of land and construction of rental storage buildings that will give the firefighters steady income throughout the year. Not only have supporters sold out the 10,000-ticket event in each of the previous nine years, but each year the sellout comes earlier.
Hissam said as a result of research about the people who attend the Fall Bash, the firefighters decided to make the Fall Bash a two-day event, Sept. 16 and 17 in The Harv at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
"We found that many people who come for the Fall Bash come into town for the entire weekend," he said. "This was a logical move."
Tickets are $60 per person for Sept. 16 and the usual $100 for Sept. 17, Hissam said. For those who want to attend both days, the ticket offering for both is $150.
Doors open at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 for cash drawings every 10 minutes between 4 and 7:30 p.m. The drawings start with a $10,000 prize at 4 p.m. and end with a $30,000 drawing at 7:30 p.m. Ticket holders can win more than one time, Hissam said.
The lowest drawing for the $60 ticket event is $3,500. There will also be a special drawing at 7:10 p.m. for 10 $500 winners.
The concert featuring LeAnn Rimes and Clint Black will start at 8:30 p.m. and conclude by 11 p.m., Hissam noted.
Food and beverages provided by Mountaineer will be available for the Sept. 16 event at an additional cost, he said.
Doors will open at 9 a.m. Sept. 17 for the $100 ticket holders. Food and beverages will be available both inside The Harv and out, at no additional cost.
Drawings begin at 11 a.m. with 20 Early Bird drawings of $1,000 each and five Early Bird drawings of $2,000 each. Beginning at noon, there will be drawings every five minutes for either cash or prizes including vehicles and weapons.
Winners can choose the prize or opt for cash. All vehicles are 2012 models. Some include Suzuki KingQuad 400 ASi or $5,200 cash; a Land Rover Evoque or $31,450 in cash; a Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle or $12,750 in cash; a Harley Davidson Fat Boy Lo or $13,850 in cash; a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 or $36,825 in cash; a Saab 9-4X or $28,050 in cash; an Audi Q7 or $39,250 in cash; a Cadillac SRX Luxury FWD or $32,560 cash.
Taylor started designing and printing the Fall Bash brochures last year. He said he is amazed by all the work the firefighters do and the response they receive for the Fall Bash.
"There's lots of excitement," he said. "They do a great job.
For more information on the Fall Bash, call the fire department's Fall Bash line at 304-387-2796.
(Tullis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)