Firefighters have dangerous and often difficult duties to perform. Retiring from a job as a firefighter brings mixed feelings for the retiree. Celebrating this momentous occasion with a retirement party allows the former firefighter a chance to put his feelings into perspective and say goodbye to co-workers and the people he served.
Common hues associated with firefighters are the colours of flames: red, yellow and orange. Use this colour scheme to decorate the party room. Select red table clothes with a flame design along the border of the material to place on serving and banquet tables. Plastic plates and cutlery in yellow will complement the red table clothes. Scatter plastic firefighter tools like axes, buckets and hoses along the serving tables for decoration. Create centrepieces from vases, craft foam, glue and flowers. Cut and glue pieces of craft foam on the vases to form a fire hydrant, leaving the top open to allow room for the flowers. Choose flowers like the gazania, which blooms in bright reds and oranges, giving the illusion of fire. Attach bright yellow, orange and black balloons to each fire hydrant vase. Use a fire alarm bell to keep the party on track and signal time for dining, speeches and games.
Create a water brigade obstacle course. Use a bucket, old tires, large foam wedges, fabric tunnels and barrels. Place these items around a large outside area, using one barrel at the finish line to pour the water into and a bucket for refilling. Separate the guests into two teams. Then form an assembly line with the participants spaced out evenly along the obstacle course, with the last participant filling the bucket of water from a hose or facet. She races through the course to pass the bucket along the line until it reaches the first person, who throws the water in the barrel.
Another game to play is firefighter centrefold calendar. This whimsical game involves a Polaroid camera, various costumes and different backdrops. Hang a dark sheet or butcher paper depicting scenes from a firehouse, on a fire truck or burning building. Guests take turns dressing up in costumes not normally linked to firefighters like a clown, gorilla or cowboy. Compile all the photos, create a scrapbook calendar and present it to the retiree.
Play a form of musical chairs, but substitute chairs for fake fire hydrants that the participants have to sit on. Use only songs with the word fire in them for the game.
Serve a party mix of pretzel appetizers in the shape of ladders with gummy worms for fire hoses. Make several large batches of chilli and call it five-alarm chilli. Bake cornbread and use cookie cutters to form shapes like fire hydrants, dogs and fire trucks. Have three types of non-alcoholic drinks available in multiple colours matching the theme, like lemonade, fruit punch and orange juice. Keep with the colour scheme and serve a red velvet cake decorated with firefighter-themed scenes. Consider several possible shapes for the retirement cake, including a fire truck, fire hydrant, fire hose, burning building or a Dalmatian.
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