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Schuylkill firefighters association parade is Saturday

The Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters Association Parade is taking place in Minersville this Saturday.

It is the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the crash of the plane in Shanksville. A total of 2,996 people died during the attacks.

“It does take on a special meaning to us,” said Jim O’Brien, a deputy firefighter for the borough and secretary of the Minersville 2021 Convention Committee.

He said 343 New York City firefighters died.

“It gives an opportunity to honor them (and those who lost their lives that day),” O’Brien said.

This is the fourth time Minersville is hosting the convention. O’Brien said they have tried to have it as close to Sept. 11 as possible in observance of the tragedy of 9/11.

Events for the week started Sunday with a memorial service at SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Minersville.

“The service went pretty well.” O’Brien said.

Wednesday was delegates night at St. Nicholas Hall. The evening featured recognition of borough officials and others in attendance. State Sen. David Argall and Rep. Jerry Knowles talked about the fire service and dedication of firefighters, O’Brien said. Former Reps. Neal Goodman and Mike Tobash received plaques in recognition of their commitment to fire service countywide.

The highlight of the convention is Saturday with the parade, judging and awards. The parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at Sixth Street, east on Sunbury Street to River Street, up North Street ending at Fifth and North Street. Judging of apparatus is at the Minersville High School. Traffic restrictions will be in place.

There are 185 units in the parade including 46 fire departments, 14 fire companies, five out of county fire companies, two floats and five bands. Registration is from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Good Will Fire Company, 25 N. St.

“All of units are going to be in the parade,” O’Brien said, adding there are four fire companies in the borough.

Apparatus from the Minersville Fire Department will lead the parade. The convention will be hosted by the Defender Hose Company, Shenandoah, which will be represented in the first division of the parade along with the Ringtown Valley Fire & Rescue Company.

The convention wasn’t held in Ringtown last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.