Phoenicia to host Firemen's Convention

By Jay Braman Jr.
Local officials have given the green light for a huge celebration of volunteer firefighters in Phoenicia on Saturday, July 28. The event, sponsored by the Ulster County Volunteer Fireman’s Association (UCVFA), is free and open to the public.

According to spokesman Gary Specht, Phoenicia was chosen due to the devastation that hit the community last year when hurricanes Irene and Lee blew through.

“The association’s president, Justice Rice, chose Phoenicia as the location for this year’s convention because he felt it would be a good way to open the public’s eyes up to the fact that Phoenicia has recovered and is a place to visit,” Specht said.

Since 1935, the non-profit organization has held a convention somewhere within Ulster County.
The event includes a parade, which, according to association officials, will be a massive display of both equipment and manpower from all parts of the county. It is set to run down Main Street at about 1 p.m.

“We are expecting between 30 and 50 fire companies,” said Specht.
The association will take over the Parish Field, located just off of Main Street in the business district, from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Last week the Shandaken Town Board issued the association a Public Assembly Permit.
According to Councilman Jack Jordan, the board received documentation from the association showing the necessary insurance, permits, security, parking, lighting, sanitation, emergency and evacuation plan requirements to receive the permit.

“The town board recognizes the benefits of public events to the economy of the town and also recognizes the necessity to provide adequate protections and a safe environment for its residents and participants alike,” Jordan said.