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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
DUBUQUE FIRE PIPES AND DRUMS. The band was organized in August 2009, when a group of firefighters wanted to bring a 150 plus year old tradition of the fire service to the area, the bagpipes.

In the early 1800s the Irish immigrated to the United States during the Great Potato Famine in Ireland. The only jobs they could generally get were dirty and dangerous like firefighting and law enforcement. During a working fire, it was not uncommon for firefighters to die. During the funeral, the pipes were played. After this tradition began, non-Irish firefighters requested the pipes be played at their funerals.

The band will teach drumming and piping for free for incoming band members.Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
The goal of the Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums is to be available to play at funerals, retirements, graduations, parades and any other occasion requested. A donation will be asked to provide continued support for the band. It is also our intent to spread the history and heritage of the Irish, Scottish, and the Fire Service.

The drums and uniforms are traditionally bought by the band. The bagpiper purchases their own pipes. Drums range from $600 for a snare drum to $1200 for a bass drum. Basic uniforms begin around $1000 per member.

By 2010 the group had performed at "Music in the Park" with the Tri-State Wind Symphony, the Irish Hooley, East Dubuque Fire Department's 125th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony and Parade, and the Monroe Cheese Festival Parade.

Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
Image courtesy: Terry Mozena
Image courtesy: Terry Mozena



Allow Me to Introduce the Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums. www.iafireassn.org/PDFs/dfpd%20letter%20to%20fire%20depts.pdf

Ironside, Mike. "Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums." http://www.dubuque365.com/ArticleDetailsPage/tabid/65/ArticleID/190/Dubuque-Fire-Pipes-Drums.aspx

"2010 Season of the Arts," Julien's Journal, October 2010, p. 58