Sir: Organizers of FireFest Chatham-Kent are sending out a big thank you to vehicle owners, supporters, volunteers and attendees for making the second year a huge success.
A total of 62 antique vehicles were on display on King Street in downtown Chatham Sept. 21. The collection of antique fire trucks, ambulances, fire department autos, hose reel carts and other emergency service vehicles made FireFest the largest event of its kind in Canada this year.
In addition, the eight Canadian-built Bickle-Seagrave trucks that were on public view set a new record for any fire muster in history, simply because no one quite knows what the previous record was.
Crowds gathered for the live fire demonstrations, the auto extrication performed by the Chatham-Kent Fire Department, the documentary “Burn” and the parade that wrapped up the day.
NYFD Chief Richard Picciotto, Friday night’s guest speaker at the St. Clair College Capitol Theatre, walked the grounds of FireFest and might have made a few cash offers on his favourite trucks.
Crowds during the six-hour event were estimated between 5,000 and 6,000 people. Event organizers talked with many out-of-town guests, some whom lodged overnight in Chatham.
Plans are underway for year three of FireFest, to be held Saturday Sept. 20, 2014. We event founders – Brent DeNure, Keith Chinnery and Wes Thompson – were hoping to reveal next year’s special guest, a well-known, instantly recognizable celebrity, but a small paperwork snag has delayed the announcement.
Check www.firefest.ca and www.facebook.com/ckfirefest in the coming weeks for all the exciting details.
Other special attractions, offerings and twists will be added for 2014 to make year three of FireFest bigger and more memorable.
& Wes Thompson