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65th Annual Fire Parade takes over Fourth Avenue, brings awareness to fire safety

Fire+trucks+from+local+stations+drive+through+Fourth+Avenue+during+the+65th+Annual+Fire+Parade.
Fire trucks from local stations drive through Fourth Avenue during the 65th Annual Fire Parade.

Fire trucks from local stations drive through Fourth Avenue during the 65th Annual Fire Parade.

Lillie Bodie I The Parthenon

Lillie Bodie I The Parthenon

Fire trucks from local stations drive through Fourth Avenue during the 65th Annual Fire Parade.

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By LILLIE BODIE

The Parthenon

Children’s faces lit up to the bright lights and loud sirens of fire trucks Oct. 8, at the annual Fire Prevention Parade in downtown Huntington. 

The Fire Parade is celebrating its 65th year marching down Fourth Avenue with local fire departments and schools to raise awareness about fire safety and hazards. Families and children covered the sidewalks to cheer on their classmates and run for candy as participants tossed bubble gum and other treats to the crowd.

Chrissy Harris of Huntington said she joined the crowd with her six-year-old daughter to take part in the Huntington tradition her daughter loves.

“I’ve been coming to the Fire Parade every year for as long as I can remember,” Harris said. “And I enjoy now being able to bring my daughter and seeing her face light up at all the performances and candy thrown at her.”

Harris said the event acts as a method to unite the Huntington community through law and safety recognition.

“It’s a good community event that brings people together and helps with the relationship that the community has with the fire and police department and emergency responders,” Harris said.

Computer science major and junior at Marshall University, Trevor Ellis, said the Fire Parade brings him nostalgia, and he now goes to support his sister.

“The Fire Parade was one of the most exciting events of the year for me growing up, and I always looked forward to seeing the lights and all of the cheering people,” Ellis said. “Now it’s great being able to see my sister do the same.”

Alex Moss, teacher at Explorer Academy, said the elementary school takes pride in the parade as it gives them the ability to show off the hard work the students put into their performances. 

“We compete against all the fire patrols at all the other elementary schools, to see who has the best routine, chant, and cheer,” Moss said. “And the kids worked really hard, they have been practicing for a month. And given up their recess everyday for four weeks straight to practice.”

Moss said what she enjoys most is seeing the kids have confidence and feel famous as they perform for their community.

 “I love that the kids are having fun and feel like they are celebrities when they are walking down the street and see everyone waving at them,” Moss said. “It’s precious.”

Fire departments and public school systems from the tri-state area joined for the parade. Moss said this brings unity from all communities and gives youth something to participate in.

“Not just Huntington Fire Departments were in the parade but Proctorville, Ceredo and Barboursville,” Moss said. “It gets the youth league football teams and cheerleaders at different schools from elementary to high school participating as well. And it’s something to do and get everyone together. When we have this parade all these different fire departments come together to bring this awareness to everybody.”

The parade is not just fun but is also educational for attendees. Moss said it brings awareness of fire safety and tactics everyone should use at home.

“There’s always a theme, this year it was ‘look, listen, be aware,’ and everybody that participates starts to understand things to be aware of,” Moss said. “Like checking our fire extinguishers and smoke detectors at home. So everyone has fun while learning as well.”

Lillie Bodie can be contacted at [email protected]

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