The 39th annual Newport Fire Department Field Days also celebrated the organization’s 100th anniversary on Saturday, which received recognition from both the state assembly and state senate.
“There’s something special about the men and women who serve,” read state Sen. James Seward, R/I/C-51 of Oneonta, from a senate-approved document on Saturday before the start of the parade.
State Assemblyman Marc Butler, R/I/C-117 of Newport, spoke about his own relatives who have and do serve with the fire department, including his cousin Fire Chief John Butler. He also spoke about the good action taken by the firefighters when a grass fire spread to his own yard.
The field days — which serves as the fire department’s main fundraiser — were held on July 27, 28 and 29, with events including live performances, amusement park rides, a firemen’s memorial service, an all-day softball tournament, a kiddie parade, and the Interstate parade.
“We feel that this is a wonderful opportunity to bring together members of our own community and neighboring communities,” read a statement inside a pamphlet about the field days. “Times have changed over the last 39 years and we continue to adapt. With your support, the Newport Fire Department will always strive to do our best to serve you, our community.”
Assistant Fire Chief Tim McEvoy encouraged people to attend events scheduled for Sunday, including the antique tractor pull and the chicken barbecue.
“We got a great turnout with the weather conditions,” said McEvoy while emceeing the parade on Bridge Street. “As long as it stays like this, the rides will go on.”
Many did turn out for the event despite the weather, which at times had heavy rainfall. Some stayed inside their cars to watch the parade, or set up their own canopies. Others used umbrellas or wore raincoats to fend off the bad weather.
Those who were there said attending the parade is about supporting the community and also having a good time.
“It’s good old fashioned fun,” said Kristie Demarco, of Poland, who attended the parade with her family.
Valerie Hadden, of Salisbury, said it was about showing support to the firemen, noting that among the women she attended the parade with had a husband, significant other or relative marching in the parade.
“You got to come out and support your town and village,” said Donna Surprenaut, of Poland, who said she attends the parade every year. “We don’t have a lot, so we look forward to this.”