Firebells and Fanfares weekend was a huge success!

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
August 5th, 2010

Over the weekend Grand Forks was taken back across time as fire departments from B.C. and Washington State displayed antique fire trucks spanning from the 1800’s through today. Along with the fire trucks the downtown businesses hosted Midnight Madness with a vintage car show and shine, music in the streets, food and late night shopping.   With the large numbers of people viewing the event and the participation of so many fire departments, Fire Chief Blair MacGregor said that the event was a success for Grand Forks.   “We had 33 trucks from outside of Grand Forks as well as our own five antiques (and five newer trucks),” said MacGregor. “It was a real good success. We had lots of great comments from both the public and the out of town people.”   With over 50 firemen from the different areas, the display was outstanding. On Saturday morning the day started with a parade of all the vehicles from the aquatic centre to the downtown area where they parked for viewing.   The highlight of the parade was the Clydesdale horses that pulled the two early 1900’s steampump trucks. Until just before the parade the firefighters didn’t know if the horses to pull these two trucks were coming and they offered to pull the carts themselves if needed. But the Carlaw Clydesdales arrived to save the day all the way from Cranbrook.   “They were a wonderful addition to the parade. They take those horses all over the Pacific Northwest and western Canada to shows and competitions. They have a team of eight but we only had five brought over,” explained MacGregor.   After the parade was done, the trucks were on public display on Market Ave. for the rest of the day. A banquet for the firefighters was hosted by the Grand Forks department on Saturday night, and the weekend wrapped up with pumping demonstrations on Sunday in City Park.   The entire show was put on by the Grand Forks Volunteer Fire Department with funds that they have raised over the years, said MacGregor. “We had an awful lot of help from various people, donations and what not too.”   MacGregor said that the Firebells and Fanfares show will move on to another community next year to be hosted. This year’s participants included departments from Creston, Nelson, Castlegar, Rossland, Christina Lake, Midway, Grand Forks, Oliver, Salmon Arm, Okanagan Falls, Kelowna, Lake Country, Duncan, Victoria, Whistler, Curlew and Snohomish in Washington.  

Watch the video for a snapshot of Midnight Madness, parade preparation, and a pumping demonstration of some of the oldest trucks! 

Categories: Arts and Culture