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Mark your calendars and loosen your belts – the Islamorada Firefighters Benevolent Association is firing up the grills and showing its community appreciation in the most delicious way possible, a free barbeque! 

The “Giving’ it Back” Barbeque will heat up Founders Park Beach on Saturday, April 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or until the food disappears.) Live music is also scheduled. Come hungry, there’s going to be a lot of food.

The firefighters have stocked up on 300 pounds of Boston pork butt, 120 pounds of turkey leg, 100 pounds of burger meat, and 60 pounds of hot dogs. They will also be serving potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob.

Head Chef/Islamorada Fire Chief Terry Abel is handling grilling duties. As an expert in putting out fires, it turns out he isn’t all that bad at starting them either. Abel says he has three BBQ tips to live by. 

First, cook it slow and low. “The highest I’ll go is about 225 degrees, but I usually just leave it at 200 and cook it until it pulls itself apart,” says Abel. Two, avoid mesquite. There isn’t anything wrong with mesquite; the chief’s just not a fan of the taste. Finally, it’s all in the wood. Abel uses woodchips made from the bark and limbs of fruit trees that are sent from his mother. Aww.

Grab your wristbands in advance from members of Islamorada Fire Department, or get one at the gate. The band earns the guest one free libation 

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