State fire convention kicking off on Thursday
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Bob Lengle, left, a member of the Kidder Township board of supervisors, and Ralph Lennon, Lake Harmony Fire Chief, stand in front of the newly-constructed Lake Harmony Fire House. Lake Harmony Fire Company and Albrightsville Fire Company are co-hosting the annual Pa. State Firemen's Convention, which opens tomorrow and concludes Saturday with a parade at 1 p.m. The two fire companies will hold open house events tomorrow in conjunction with the convention.
Tomorrow, the 132nd Firemen's Association State of Pa. Convention opens in Lake Harmony with a full slate of special events.
The three-day convention concludes on Saturday with a 10-division parade featuring apparatus, bands, and marching units representing every corner of the state.
The parade begins at 1 p.m.
This marks the first time ever the convention is being held in Carbon County. It has never been held in Schuylkill County.
"We've been working on this for over three years," said Ralph Lennon, Lake Harmony fire chief.
The convention is being co-hosted by the Lake Harmony and Albrightsville Fire Departments.
Events tomorrow include opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. in the Keystone Ballroom of the Galleria. The featured speaker will be Edward Mann, state fire commissioner.
Then, at 1 p.m., a Memorial Service will be staged in the Keystone Ballroom.
Tomorrow night, the two host fire companies will have separate open-house events.
Lennon said a highlight at Lake Harmony's open house will be a Pierce Apparatus Show, which he said, "features some of the best-looking apparatus in the eastern part of the state." He said about 20 pieces of apparatus will be on display.
The open house at Lake Harmony will be from 7-10 p.m. It will give the fire company a chance to display its new building, which it occupied this year.
Another highlight will be an appearance by the Firehouse Girls.
Walking up and down the street from Shenanigan's to the firehouse will be the Gooseneckers, comprised of a long-standing fraternal order of firefighters.
The Albrightsville Fire Company open house will be from 5-10 p.m. and will have entertainment by the Jukebox Cruisers, the Jim Thorpe-based band Nightwind, and "The Doctor" from Penn's Peak Radio.
In addition, the Coors Light Girls will be at the event from 6-8 p.m., according to Albrightsville Fire Chief Bruce Berger.
The open house will also feature a pig roast.
Refreshments will be available for purchase at both the Lake Harmony and Albrightsville Fire Company events.
Tomorrow's activities include live training sessions for firefighters, with morning and afternoon sessions at the Galleria.
Lennon said he was somewhat surprised when Lake Harmony and Albrightsville were approved to host the annual convention.
He said one of the key factors in the decision was the availability of hotel rooms.
Generally such conventions are held in larger cities.
The parade route on Saturday includes formation at Big Boulder Ski area, then marching from Lake Harmony Fire Company to the Galleria, a distance of 1.8 miles.
Morning judging of apparatus will occur at the Pocono Raceway.