BEDFORD, N.Y. - The people of Bedford Village wanted a parade Friday and the fire department wasnt going to let them down, even if severe thunderstorms had been forecast for the area earlier in the day.
More than a dozen companies marched down Route 22 for the Bedford Fire Departments annual firemans parade. Although the rain drops that fell on them remained constant, that didnt stop the participants as they made their way from Farms Road to the Hamlet of Bedford Village.
After the parade, the fire department had hot dogs and drinks and handed out trophies for categories such as the best overall fire company and the best antique trucks.
We had 15 companies participate, said Peter Aquilino, first assistant chief of the Bedford Fire Department. We had projected 25 or 26 companies to show up, but the weather put a damper on things.
Aquilino said the fire department had no intention of canceling the parade, with nearly $5,000 and almost eight months of planning behind the event.
The fire company decide to cancel the parade two years ago, when the weather forecast called for rain and hail. But the hail never came and the weather never reached the level that the forecasters had predicted. From that point on, the department decided not cancel the event unless it was absolutely necessary.
Its a great opportunity to meet other fire departments and other members of the community, Aquilino said.
Thomas Reddy, chief of the Ossining Fire Department, said the rain made things difficult because his company wore heavy wool suits. The suits become even heavier if they get soaked, Reddy said.
But Reddy said his men have been to worse. Plus, he said, they had too much pride to back out.
Weve won the best overall trophy six out of the seven parades weve been in [this year], Reddy said.
Jeanine Lord, assistant scoutmaster and crew master for the Maybrook-based Boy Scout Troop 236, said the weather didnt bother her at all.
You see the people that still came out and supporting us anyway and thats a satisfying feeling, she said.
Michele Masi of Harrison said she missed most of the parade because she stayed in her car out of fear of the rain. She regretted her decision later on.
I dont mind getting wet, she said. I shouldve come out in the beginning.
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