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Fire Truck Festival to feature 70+ fire trucks and equipment, music & fun

SPENCER — The N.C. Transportation Museum’s 3rd Annual Fire Truck Festival on Saturday will be the biggest yet. Event organizers have confirmed more than 70 pieces of firefighting equipment to be displayed. Fire trucks will arrive from four different states for the event, which will also feature a historic Charlotte Fire Department steam-powered pumper, the 200th anniversary of the Salisbury Fire Department, a fire truck parade, and the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band giving a special tribute to a founding member.

The main attraction is, of course, the largest gathering of fire trucks for a public event in the state of North Carolina, with fire trucks, emergency vehicles, the N.C. Forest Service helicopter, kids’ activities, and rescue demonstrations.

The grand finale will feature a parade of fire trucks, departing from the site’s main parking lot, heading south on S. Salisbury Avenue, returning to the museum grounds at the pedestrian crossing, and continuing to the Bob Julian Roundhouse for photos.

Special offerings for 2017 include the 200th anniversary celebration of Salisbury Fire Department. The department will publicly debut their newly restored 1941 American LaFrance fire truck, along with other 200th anniversary-themed offerings.

The Charlotte Fire Department will show off a modern fire truck as well as their horse-drawn Metropolitan Steam Fire Engine 2813, nicknamed “Old Sue.” The department has maintained the pumper engine since its initial purchase by the city in 1902. “Old Sue” will be steaming during a special demonstration at 1 p.m.

The N.C. Forest Service will prove that not all firefighting takes place using trucks and hoses, as they fly in, weather permitting, aboard one of the department’s five N.C. Forest Service helicopters.

Music will be provided by special guests, the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band. Founded by a group of railroad policemen who enjoyed pickin’ and singin’.

The band will perform its 2015 release, “Behind the Badge,” a tribute to all first responders. A more personal tribute by the band will be featured at 11 a.m., when founding member Forrest Jarrett, himself a 37-year railroad policeman, will receive special recognition. Earlier this year, Jarrett was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor for public service.

Other Fire Truck Festival offerings include a smokehouse provided by the Salisbury Fire Department, a fire-themed obstacle course provided by the Thomasville Fire Department, bounce houses, fire and rescue Wii games for the kids, crafts and coloring sheets, and more.

Admission to the show also includes admission to the N.C. Transportation Museum. Advance purchase is recommended at www.nctrans.org

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