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Fire department celebrates 150 years with a parade

Thirty fire trucks and a marching band will roll down Farmville’s Main Street Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department.

The parade was scheduled to be last October but was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. This will be the first parade Farmville has had since the 2019 Christmas parade.

Veteran firefighter Dan Pempel, who has served at the fire department for 17 years after moving from New York, said  the parade will have fire trucks from as old as the 1920s. Of the 30 trucks, 20 will be new trucks with 10 historic engines. A marching band is coming from Loudon County to join the festivities.

Pempel said parade watchers should wear masks and socially distance along the parade route to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The parade will gather at the DMV on South Street. The parade will move up Second Street and turn onto Main Street going all the way to the McDonald’s. At that point, the fire trucks will travel on their own to the Fireman Sports Arena at 1328 Zion Hill Road where those interested can take a closer look at the trucks and talk with the firemen. The fire department’s auxiliary will have some hamburgers and hot dogs for sale as well.

There will also be awards given. Pempel said honors will be given for the truck with the best appearance, the one from the farthest away, the oldest fire engine and the people’s choice award.