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Fire convention includes day of family fun

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LOUISVILLE — While the annual Northern New York Firemen’s Convention is a three day event, the convention’s final day is not just for the firefighters, but for families from all over Northern New York.

“On Saturday (June 9) things will be open to the public,” said convention chair Andy S. Fregoe, who noted the day will include a parade, chicken barbecue, firematics races, bounce house, live music and more.

The largest firefighter parade in the region will kick the day off at 10 a.m. and will include marching units, auxiliaries, four bands and “obviously lots of trucks.”

Mr. Fregoe said the St. Lawrence County chapter of the Red Knights motorcycle club also will be in the parade. He explained that the motorcycle club is made up of volunteer firefighters from around the county.

The Norwood Brass Firemen, who will participate in the parade, will follow it up with a concert around 11 a.m. at the firemen’s field, located adjacent to Louisville Fire Station #1 and the Louisville Arena.

Mr. Fregoe said the parade will start at St. Lawrence Church, go down the hill and over the bridge to fire station #1.

The chicken barbecue also will start at 11 a.m. and last until all the chickens are sold. But with what is expected to be a large number of people in attendance, Mr. Fregoe warned people looking for chicken had better arrive early.

“I’m guessing it will be gone by 1 p.m.,” he said. “It’s not unusual to have as many as 2,000 firemen attend the convention.”

The barbecue will be held at the firemen’s field. A meal, which also will include cole slaw, salt potatoes and a roll, will cost $8.

A concession stand with hotdogs, burgers, soft drinks and other snacks will be located on the grounds and open for the entire duration of the event “right up to 10 p.m.,” Mr. Fregoe said.

A bounce house for children will be set up at the grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the day will include bed races, starting at approximately 6 p.m.

“We will provide the beds, all you have to do is bring a five-person team and go for it,” Mr. Fregoe said, adding the cost to enter will be $5 per team, with trophies and prizes being awarded to the winners.

The highlight of the day, though, will be the firematics races, which will get underway at 1 p.m. and are expected to continue until around 6 p.m.

Nine teams are to compete, including the host Louisville Turtles. The races will be broadcast live on WMSA.

Following the firematics races, the band “Six-foot Midgets” will take the stage and entertain throughout the evening up until the fireworks at 10 p.m.

“They might even play longer if they want to,” Mr. Fregoe said.

He also said this is the first time Louisville has hosted the convention, something which would not have been possible without the help of Curran Renewable Energy, A. Cappione Inc., Frenchie’s Ford, Frenchie’s Chevrolet and Route 37 Auto Body.

“We would like to thank our sponsors for making this possible,” Mr. Fregoe said. “It’s not only fun for the whole family, but it’s also a chance for people from around Northern New York to show support for their local fire department.”

The convention opens June 7 with a golf tournament at the Massena Country Club and its annual past president’s dinner.

On June 8 the association will hold its annual business meeting, elect its officers for the year and enjoy a luncheon at the Village Inn.

The New Testament Church will host the association’s annual memorial service and firefighter of the year presentation at 1:30 p.m. The service will be followed by an afternoon of training drills and presentations, with a social gathering at the fire hall in the evening.

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