Coming to Carbon County this September will be the state Firemen's Association 132nd Convention & Parade - September 21t-24 and jointly hosted by the Lake Harmony and Albrightsville fire companies.

About five months away, a large turnout of men and equipment for the convention and parade is expected and this will help to promote not only the Lake Harmony area, but the whole county.

The convention and parade will be held in Lake Harmony and the fire companies are hoping to make this one of the best conventions in Pennsylvania history.

Convention headquarters will be located at the Split Rock Resort in the Galleria Hotel.

In addition to the convention and parade there will be events such as live hands-on training sessions for firefighters on Thursday and Friday and a 100+ booth Fire Expo in the Galleria Convention Center on Friday and Saturday.

Local fire companies are encouraged to sign up members for the live hands-on training sessions using the registration forms available on the convention website at 2011pastateconvention.com

The Galleria Convention Center will also be the location for a Beef & Beer Social on Friday night and all of the parade festivities on Saturday.

Having these activities together in a climate controlled indoor venue should certainly make for a pleasant event, regardless of the weather during the week.

One of their goals this year is to celebrate the proud history of the Fire Services by showcasing hand, horse, and motorized antique fire apparatus some of which will be displayed at the Convention Center in the Galleria during the Fire Expo.

The antique units that are displayed will be securely kept indoors and will be eligible for parade awards.

If interested in displaying an antique fire apparatus, contact Steve Lilick at (610) 937-0940 or Steve Lilick@klenzoidinc.com to make arrangements for your antique as soon as possible.

According to a 2003 report by the National Volunteer Fire Council in Washington, D.C., nearly 73% of the 1.1 million firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

Another industry authority, the National Fire Protection Agency, notes that 95% of all firefighting volunteers serve communities with a population of less than 25,000.

On Friday evening during the Beef & Beer Social the reigning Miss Pennsylvania will crown a Parade Queen and Princess.

They will receive a sash, flowers, crown, and ride in the parade with Miss Pennsylvania.

The Parade Queen and Princess will be chosen by votes gathered through the sale of tickets at $1 a vote with 50 percent of the proceeds going to help offset the expense of the parade and convention.

The other 50 percent of these proceeds will go to any non-profit organizations who would like to pick candidates for Parade Queen and Princess.

Tickets for this will be supplied by the fire companies to the non-profit organizations that may wish to participate.

Candidate's names must be submitted by May 15 for more information and contest rules, contact Maureen at 570-814-3433.

To help offset the expenses of the event there will be a souvenir advertisement book produced which will be available at the convention this September.

Businesses, organizations, individuals, and other well-wishers will be able to place their information and messages in sizes ranging from single lines for names only on up to full page size.

For additional information on the souvenier book, contact Maureen at 570-814-3433 or Rich at 570-350-6627.

Another thing that will help to offset the expenses of these events will be the sale of commemorative mugs, shirts, and sweatshirts bearing colorful pictures and logos. They are available now by contacting Chief Ralph Lennon..

For more information on all of these events and the commemorative items, contact Lake Harmony Chief Ralph Lennon at 570-722-8248 or xchief1@verizon.net

The parade judging will start about 6:30 a.m. the day of the parade at Pocono International Raceway and there may possibly be over 400 fire trucks in the parade.

Marching bands from all the high schools in Carbon County will be participating in the line of march.

For a complete convention/parade schedule and other information, visit the website at 2011pastateconvention.com

A note to anyone who might be planning on seeing the parade is to try to arrive early as parking will be limited.