Fill-er up: Booya celebration a stirring success
NEWPORT — The 64th annual Booya celebration brought hundreds to Newport Fire Station #1 for an afternoon of kids games, refreshments, bingo, raffle, hot dogs and beer (Id required, of course). But the star attraction at the July 9 cookout was the titular dish, that upper midwestern version of bouillabaisse.
The Newport Fire Department cooked up an ocean of booya, which had been simmering overnight. Throughout the afternoon, they ladled it out to a bucket brigade of customers who brought empty pots, plastic buckets, Tupperware, coolers and other containers.
The booya base was a tent where retired firefighter Len Louden and volunteer Nicholas Zellmer stirred the 70-gallon kettles of stew.
Karney Bushinger opted for the cajun variety. She said she was going to run home and freeze it, then return with a bigger pot for some regular booya.
"I've lived here since 1978," Bushinger said. "I've come up here every year since they had the Booya."
As a connoisseur, did she have a favorite booya vintage?
"Every year it's been a 10," she said.
Cadence Niesen-Grossmann, 3, and big sister Brooke Grossmann got temporary tattoos and balloons from Jhemm, a member of the Hudson River Valley chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse.
The event raised money for the Fireman's Relief Association, concluding a Booya weekend that included a parade the previous evening.