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[Every year the Narrowsburg Fire Department hosts a Fourth of July event with fireworks, parade, and field day. The below articles describes the 2003 and 2004 events.]

Historic Narrowsburg parade still growing

TRR photo by Charlie Buterbaugh
The Fifes and Drums of Broome Street Band played classic tunes of patriotism. (Click for larger version)

NARROWSBURG, NY — As Cheryl Wood was lining up the procession of floats, fire trucks, tractors, wool-clad fifers and drummers of the Broome Street Band and bagpipers of the Black Diamonds, local residents and visitors were filling Narrowsburg sidewalks for the hamlet’s annual July 4 parade, one of the county’s oldest celebrations of U.S. independence.

When the parade filed out, Narrowsburg personages Art Hawker, Tom “Woody” Wood, Charlie Wieland and Ed Kraus were busy getting ready to serve 500 barbecued chickens, grilled in accordance to Wieland’s own locally famous recipe.

Wood said the Narrowsburg Volunteer Fire Department’s annual field day was particularly popular on Sunday, and just before dusk, crowds lined the bridge over the Delaware and railroad tracks along the river in anticipation of the fire department’s annual fireworks display.

“We’re trying to make this bigger every year,” Wood said. “If it wasn’t for the help of the local businesses, the fireworks would not be possible. We really need the support from the town.”

He said he hopes more people come out to enjoy the field day events at the Firemen’s Field next year, which are already being planned. The parade committee met Tuesday to begin organizing July 4, 2005 in Narrowsburg.

TRR photo by Tom Kane
Tom Wood and son Kevin Wood placed American flags throughout the hamlet of Narrowsburg to get ready for the nation’s birthday and the 100th anniversary celebration of the Narrowsburg Fire Department. (Click for larger image)

It’s the thing to do since 1902

Fire Department hosts annual Field Days

NARROWSBURG — In the hundred years since the Narrowsburg Fire Department started, its members have put out some big fires, suffered the tragic loss of young members killed by accident (Brock, Hankins and Laraia in 1979), gone through an array of technological advances in alarm systems (see “Calling out the men!”), allowed boys of 12 to sign up, and now have women in its ranks.

The training ranges from how to drive an emergency vehicle to how to deal with weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. But the one constant the fire department has provided with very few exceptions is that on the Fourth of July the volunteers get together and put on a great community event, complete with a parade, field day and fireworks. The volunteer fire department demonstrates how vital communities stay alive. As Orvis Vanatta put it: “The fire department is not about fires, it’s about the people who put them out.”

This year, the field days start on Friday with an all-day picnic, accompanied by two jazz bands and carnival rides. The parade will take place on Saturday, July 6 at 1:00 p.m. (lineup begins at noon), with the reviewing stand on the porch of the Arlington Hotel. The parade will include 11 floats, 15 fire trucks, and a dozen or more hot rods. Port Jervis is sending its marching band, and some Junior Marines will march. Rounding out the parade will be the boy scouts and three beauty queens. Political dignitaries and judges will be on hand to award trophies.

So get out your dancing shoes and support the fire department. The fire fighters keep our lives safe, and as Charlie Knapp says, “It’s important to recognize that the founders have done such a great thing.”

News & columns provided by The River Reporter