The small town charm present in sparsely populated areas such as those found in the Big Bend region are characterized by a slower-paced way of life.
Church socials, street dances, and children riding bikes around quaint neighborhoods until the street lights turn on signify a simpler existence often drowned out by the hustle and bustle of modern living. Those willing to search thoroughly enough find that these events take place throughout the year among the cactus-ridden towns and endlessly dark skies. The fundraising festivities that occurred last weekend in Marathon, Texas were no different.
The Marathon Volunteer Fire Department hosted the fifth annual West Fest Cabrito Cook-off and Dance. Held at Post Park, the competition barbecue and dance is considered by many to be one of the tiny town’s most popular events. Visitors come from near and far to participate in judging and decide whose fare is worthy of recognition, trophies, and bragging rights. “It’s important to sponsor and donate to local VFDs because the money goes toward gear that keeps us safe and training that keeps citizens safe, as well as the upkeep on vehicles to keep them ready to go in a moment’s notice,” said Wilson. “The men and women in my department, like the majority of volunteer firefighters, don’t get paid. This is purely a labor of love for the community and for the job.”
Wilson stressed that citizens should be proud whether they lived in Alpine, Terlingua, or Marathon, since each town had VFDs with trained, skilled, and dedicated professionals to answer that bell whenever they are called.
“If you see a volunteer firefighter, stop and thank them,” he said.