Perfect weather to provide a good turnout was what Logan Fire Company No. 1 members were hoping for at their 42nd fireman’s parade Saturday night. It’s annually celebrated during the Fourth of July weekend.
“I had a discussion with the good Lord a month ago to bring good weather, and he provided,” said ChuckSalvanish, fire company vice president and co-chairman of the parade.
And sunny and 75 degrees it was for the parade that Salvanish said often gets Mother Nature’s wrath.
Jordan Cubek sat along West High Street with family and neighborhood friends.
All the 5-year-old wanted to see were fire engines, ambulances and trucks. His mother, Ginny Cubek, said her son is in a “truck phase.”
He waved with his right hand as his left hand gripped a small American flag.
Henry Hoff, 2, waved a similar flag as he sat in his Radio Flyer wagon and watched the trucks, baton twirlers and marching bands go by.
Drivers of the apparatuses waved back — some even honked the horn and tossed candy to onlookers. Rich Fornicola, Centre County treasurer, announced the parade.
The parade started at Bellefonte Area High School, made its way down Allegheny Street to High Street and ended at Talleyrand Park with a performance from the Bellefonte Band. The bulk of the audience pitched chairs on the sidewalk of Allegheny Street.
An award ceremony recognized the best apparatuses, as judged by a group of volunteer firefighters from as far away as Blair County. Other awards were handed out in memory of past fire company members.
The Bruce I. Garner Award is annually given to the “most outstanding fire apparatus,” Salvanish said. The Robert J. Frazier Memorial Chief’s Award is given to the most functional piece of fire equipment at the parade.
But the parade wouldn’t have happened this year without support from the community, Salvanish said.
Salvanish said that for the past two years the company hasn’t had the funds in its budget to hold a carnival or fireworks display, but was asked last year by the community to keep the parade going.
Salvanish said he sat down with company and community members to find a way to keep the parade an annual event.
The community offered to hold a fund drive to help support the parade — enough to run it last year, and extra funds to support the parade this year.
“It’s a tradition the community likes,” Salvanish said. “It’s a pride thing, and when the community asks you to do something, it might be tough, but it’s one little way we can show the community we can serve them in more ways than one.”
And locals said it was worth it.
“It wouldn’t seem right if there wasn’t a parade,” said Jodi Dann, a Bellefonte resident who watched the parade with her family near the cemetery on Bishop Street. “This is a small town. People around here appreciate things like this.”
Salvanish said it cost about $2,500 to hold the parade each year.
“We will look at funds and see where we stand next year,” Salvanish said. “The parade is a very sentimental thing.”