The fourth annual Slade Baker Memorial Crawfish Cook-Off brought the heat to downtown Paris, Texas, over the weekend, raising more than $20,000 towards scholarships for locals to attend fire academy.
The event is held at South Main Iron by the Friends of Slade Baker Board, represented by Austin Sugg, Cade Oats, Adam Bolton, and Jordan Blackshear.
The four guys got together after losing a dear friend and former firefighter, Slade Baker, in an automobile accident in 2019.
With the mission to carry on Slade’s Legacy, they formed the event to raise funds for locals who aim to enter the fire academy. Since 2019, they’ve awarded eight scholarships in Slade’s memory.
“It’s all about coming together to have a great time, remember and honor our friend Slade, and support those who want to enter this field,” said Blackshear. “The first few events were a little smaller, but these last two years, we’ve been proud to see it grow into something that bring sour community together.”
This year, the event featured ten cook-off teams, 1,000 pounds of Crawfish, a cornhole tournament, live music by Red Stone Revival and Dustin Perkins Band, a kid’s corner, and an auction raising a total of $30,974.
With more than 520 tickets sold to the Crawfish Cook-Off and an estimated 1200in attendance, the event continues to grow into a staple community event for Paris.
“We’ve enjoyed seeing this thing grow into what it is today,” said Bolton. “It takes a lot of hands, support, contributions, and long hours to make it all come together, but when you see that many people in one area having a great time, it makes it all worth it. We’re proud to have been about to award four scholarships this year as well. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome!”’
Recipients of the 2023 Slade Baker Memorial Scholarship were Heath Babb, Maryann Lester, Kyler Gogg, and Cole Fendley.
All of whom plan to attend fire academy within the next year in the State of Texas.
Congratulations to the winners, Crabb Crawdad Co., It Ain’t Gonna Suck Itself, and Bugs N Suds, for taking home the trophies!
Next year, the event will be held on May 3-4, 2024, and those interested in getting involved should contact Lea Emerson (email@example.com) or visitsladebakermemorial.com