Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, mans the grill with other volunteers during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, mans the grill with other volunteers during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Community applauds firefighting crews

The event featured free hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled salmon and homemade desserts.

On just a weekend’s notice, hundreds of peninsula residents visited Soldotna Creek Park on Monday night to show their support for the first responders and the fire crews that have been battling the Swan Lake Fire. Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, put the word out about the event on Thursday and said he had no trouble finding the sponsors and volunteers for the event.

“I made four phone calls and it was on,” Micciche said on Monday.

The event featured free hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled salmon and homemade desserts donated by sponsors including Pacific Star Seafoods, Inc., Hilcorp, Marathon, Conoco Phillips Alaska, the City of Soldotna, Coca-Cola and KSRM. The Malone and Mabrey Brothers Band volunteered their time and talent on stage, and each crew of firefighters was greeted with applause and handshakes as they arrived. The line for food spanned the length of the park, but Micciche said they had a “contigency plan” in place in case they ran out that included trips to Safeway and Fred Meyer.

Volunteers serve food to peninsula residents and first responders during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Volunteers serve food to peninsula residents and first responders during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula residents and firefighters enjoy a meal together during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula residents and firefighters enjoy a meal together during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula residents and firefighters enjoy a meal together during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula residents and firefighters enjoy a meal together during the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, Kyle Murdock, Matt Lazaros, Matt Seizes, John Chihuly and Terry Borkey from Central Emergency Services enjoy the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, Kyle Murdock, Matt Lazaros, Matt Seizes, John Chihuly and Terry Borkey from Central Emergency Services enjoy the first responder appreciation barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

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