By CRAIG FREILICH
As many as 2,000 northern New York firefighters and family members are expected to attend the 117th annual Northern New York Firemen’s Convention, hosted this year by Potsdam and Norfolk volunteers June 6 to 8.
Among highlights will be a big parade in Potsdam Saturday morning, a firematics competition in Norfolk Sunday afternoon, and a disaster drill and performance by the Norwood Brass Firemen at Pine Street Arena in Potsdam Friday night.
Potsdam’s volunteers last hosted the Northern New York Firemen’s Convention in 1978. Norfolk has never hosted the convention before.
Friday’s activities begin with the association’s annual business meeting at 9 a.m. in Clarkson University’s Cheel Commons followed by a luncheon at the Potsdam Elks Lodge on Elm Street.
After lunch, “Firemen of the Year” will be recognized with an awards presentation at St. Mary’s Church on Lawrence Avenue in Potsdam, with a memorial service immediately following in remembrance of firefighters and auxiliary members lost in the past year. The ceremony will include a lighted Maltese cross, a symbol and badge of honor for firefighters.
At 5 p.m., things move to Pine Street Arena for a disaster drill, where they will simulate a rescue at a two-car motor vehicle accident involving a bicyclist, with an appearance by the LifeNet emergency transport helicopter based at Potsdam Municipal Airport.
At 6 p.m., the famous Norwood Brass Firemen will play brass tunes at Pine Street, before the start of a casino night and dance inside the arena at 7 p.m., with more live music outside.
A big parade will take place in Potsdam Saturday morning, starting at Sisson Street at 9:30 a.m. and finishing on Elm Street. Motorists should be prepared to be diverted around the parade route.
The parade will include fire departments from around the region, the Potsdam and Massena High School Bands, and the Norwood Brass, among others.
Saturday afternoon, firefighters will convene in Norfolk for the always spirited firematics competition starting at 1:30 p.m.
Things will wrap up in Norfolk with a dance Saturday night.
The four-day convention begins Thursday, with a golf tournament at Potsdam Town and Country Club, starting at 9 a.m. Nearly 40 teams have signed up to play.
That evening, the West Potsdam Ladies Auxiliary hosts the Past Presidents’ Dinner at the West Potsdam Fire Hall, Blanchard Road.