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Maude Fest event aims to help restore 1921 fire engine

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LOUISBURG — The Louisburg Fire Department's Maude Fest is back for another year.

The concert-driven show, slated for Saturday, aims to raise money to help the fire department restore an important relic of the past - a 1921 American LaFrance type 75 fire engine named Maude.

Louisburg Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Larry Peoples said Maude Fest is a great way to bring in money to go toward Maude's restoration. Maude is currently being worked on in North Wilkesboro by Dennis Moser with Alloy Welding.

"As far as the goal for this particular fundraiser, we don't really say this is our goal," Peoples said. "Hopefully the more the better."

The fourth annual Maude Fest is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Louisburg College. Doors open at 6 and the show starts at 7.

The artist lineup includes Larry Frick & Band with guests Willis Gupton, Phil Redmond, Cliff Waddell, Gary Brady and Eric Strickland.

According to Peoples, Maude was Louisburg's first fire engine when it was built almost 100 years ago. It was retired in 1952, then was sold a few times to various owners. Peoples said, with a chuckle, that one time it was traded for a "pony and a pickup truck."

Around six years ago, Maude was sold back to the fire department after it was in the possession of a collector from Fayetteville, Peoples said.

Moser began Maude's restoration work about a year and a half ago, according to Peoples. Peoples said the fire engine has never underdone a total restoration as much of the work has been basic paint jobs and touch-ups.

Peoples said once the fire engine is restored it will be used for educational purposes.

"We'll use it for fire prevention, fire education classes, taking it to schools and use in parades," he said. "Eventually, we hope to have it displayed where the public can come view it at any time."

Peoples said having Maude restored in time for its 100th birthday in 2021 is something that has been a goal of his for a long time, and the restoration process is well ahead of that schedule. He mentioned that if all goes according to plan, the work on Maude should wrap up sometime this year.

Tickets for Maude Fest are $20 and can be purchased by talking with any Louisburg fireman or by calling 919-496-4290 or by going online to www.maudefest.com.

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