The roads around Walnutport and Slatington were teeming with fire trucks Saturday for the Four County Firemen's Convention and Parade.

Spectators lined the sidewalks as dozens of fire companies from across the region and their equipment paraded through the streets.

The Parryville Harley motorcycle group helped control traffic as the fire companies headed for the registration desk at the Northern Lehigh School Complex.

There were 70 companies represented by 172 pieces of apparatus, said Mike Wentz, parade chairman of Walnutport's Diamond Company.

He said Walnutport also hosted the parade in 1975 and 1996, but this was the first time they worked with Slatington.

A convention had been held earlier in the day for the once-a-year business meeting. Dues to belong to the four-county association are only $5. They discussed such things as death benefits paid to members a small amount which goes to the spouse. Occasionally bylaw changes are made.

The convention is open to everyone, but there are quarterly executive meetings.

Paul Hoffman of Slatington Fire Company said he enjoys the parades.

"I've been in every one since 1981 and never miss the four-county. It's just a time to get together and meet other people" he said.

There are food and beverages at the end of the parade for members of the companies.

"It's great for the community to host something like this. You get to see other fire departments that we work with," said Harold Greene, co-chairman of the committee.

He explained that spectators get to see a lot of new equipment and some antiques. Greene said he's been in the fire service for 23 years and it is nice to compare the older equipment that people had to use, with the new equipment companies have now.

The four-county parade is open only to volunteer companies.

After registration the trucks were given a final polish before they went to Victory Park for the beginning of the parade.

The grand marshal was Gary Phillips.

A lot of antique cars turned out to carry officials. Rep. Julie Harhart, the Slatington mayor and council president, Walnutport's council president, executive Chairman Charles Hoffman and the Walnutport mayor, were followed by a bagpipe band

Division two was led by the Rajah Shriners Oriental Band. Smokey Bear rode in the truck of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Slatington's antique engine rode on a wagon and junior firefighters pulled a hose cart. Lake Harmony Fire Company displayed the boat it uses for water rescue.

Winners were announced at 5 p.m.