LILY DALE - Final preparations are moving into high gear at the Lily Dale Volunteer Fire Co. where the community's finest will sponsor the annual Firemen's Day celebration Saturday, July 20.
All visiting firemen with membership cards will be admitted free of charge at the Lily Dale gate. Firefighters and members of the newly-reorganized Lily Dale Fire Co. Auxiliary are hoping for a good turnout at the day-long event, starting 9 a.m. at the East Street fire hall with a car/golf cart wash at $5 per vehicle, and bake sale. And, this year, tee-shirts bearing fire company emblems will be available.
Other activities at the fire hall includes a children's safety program, fire truck rides for kids, and chicken barbecue dinners available at $9 from noon ''until we run out of food,'' according to Fire Chief Stanley Kelly and Joanne Nigro, auxiliary president. Tickets for the 50/50 drawing as well as tickets linked to theme baskets and fire extinguishers, will be available through the day at the fire hall and at the auditorium where raffle items will be displayed and drawings will take place.
Lily Dale Volunteer Fire Company T-shirts, to be sold on Firemen’s Day are, displayed. From left: Carole Thompson, fire company secretary and son Milton, 6, proud of his mom, who also is a firefighter; Joanne Nigro, president of the fire company’s auxiliary and fire company chaplain; Fire Chief Stanley Kelly; and firefighter, Michael Nigro.
Firemen's Day activities at the auditorium, admission free, will continue, starting at 8:30 p.m. The evening program offers visitors an opportunity to join mediums in spirit circles. In addition, refreshments and a flea market are on the agenda.
"The former auxiliary disbanded about ten years ago. This is the first year since then that the Lily Dale company has an auxiliary,'' Kelly said.
A former volunteer fireman for 20 years at Stockton, where he also was an EMYS captain, Kelly is marking his sixth year as Lily Dale's fire chief.
The fire company, one of Chautauqua County's oldest and smallest, claims continuous operation since 1906. Nigro, also the fire company chaplain, said the auxiliary was established several months ago.
"All volunteer fire operations are having a difficult time these days,'' she said. "With interest in helping our firemen out, we decided to reorganize an auxiliary. This is our first Firemen's Day and we're hoping it's a big success.''