While the annual Northern New York Firemens Convention, being held this week in Louisville, is a three-day event, the conventions final day is not just for the firefighters, but for families from all over Northern New York.
On Saturday things will be open to the public, said convention chairman Andrew 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 said 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 about 11 a.m. at the firemens field, adjacent to Louisville Fire Station No. 1 and the Louisville Arena.
Mr. Fregoe said the parade will start at St. Lawrence Church and go down the hill and over the bridge to Fire Station No. 1.
The chicken barbecue also will start at 11 a.m. and last until all of the chickens are sold. But with what is expected to be a large number of people in attendance, Mr. Fregoe warned that people looking for chicken had better arrive early.
Im guessing it will be gone by 1 p.m., he said. Its not unusual to have as many as 2,000 firemen attend the convention.
The barbecue will be held at the firemens field. A meal, which also will include cole slaw, salt potatoes and a roll, will cost $8.
A concession stand with hot dogs, burgers, soft drinks and other snacks will be located on the grounds and open for the 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 under way at 1 p.m. and are expected to continue until about 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 Midget 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., Frenchies Ford, Frenchies Chevrolet and Route 37 Auto Body.
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this possible, Mr. Fregoe said. Its not only fun for the whole family, but its also a chance for people from around Northern New York to show support for their local fire department.
The convention opens Thursday with a golf tournament at the Massena Country Club and its annual past presidents dinner.
On Friday 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 associations annual memorial service and firefighter of the year presentation at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The service will be followed by an afternoon of training drills and presentations, with a social gathering at the fire hall in the evening.