WILLIAMSTOWN -The fifth annual Ohio River Valley Fire Prevention parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Williamstown and move into Marietta.
"We want the kids to come out with their families and line the streets and the bridge for this parade," said Williamstown Fire Capt. Paul Jordan.
This year's parade will line up near the Williamstown Welcome Center with the crowd beginning to line the streets at Tomlinson Park as the trucks and other fire department equipment make their way across the Williamstown Bridge into downtown Marietta, ending in Muskingum Park.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Williamstown Fire Capt. Paul Jordan holds up fire prevention packets that will be handed out to Williamstown Elementary School students today. The fifth annual Ohio River Valley Fire Prevention Parade will take place on Saturday.
More than 30 fire departments from around the Mid-Ohio Valley are expected to participate. Not only 18 departments from Washington County, but also the dozen from Wood County as well as St. Marys and Ellenboro are expected to have a presence with 75 to 100 vehicles.
"It is a way to unite the communities and spread fire prevention awareness," said Jordan, who is the vice president of the Wood County Firefighters Association. "We wanted to make it a nighttime parade where the community could see the lights from the trucks and vehicles shining as they make their way across the bridge at dusk."
Jordan said the idea of doing the dual county/state parade came to him and former Marietta Fire Chief Tom Dempsey after they saw the fire parade in Huntington several years ago.
Jordan said the parade began in 2008 as a way to unite Wood and Washington counties as well as to spread the word of fire prevention.
"We are going into the schools and handing out some information and we hope they come out to the parade to see all the trucks," he said.
October is Fire Prevention Month, commemorating the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-9, 1871, that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.
The parade alternates each year between Parkersburg/Belpre and Marietta/Williamstown.