The Ulster County Volunteer Firemen’s Association has held a parade every summer for nearly a century, but this year’s 84th annual parade will be special. According to John Gallagher, a former chief and past commissioner of the Highland Fire District, the 2019 parade will be the first such event to be held in the evening. Highland Hose Company #1, Inc., which is celebrating 125 years of service to its community this year, will host the parade in the hamlet on Saturday, July 27 at 6 p.m. Afterward, the fun will continue at the Town of Lloyd Town Field, where trophies in several categories will be awarded to fire companies and there will be live music by The Hillbillies. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available and some vendors will be on hand, too, with all the activity culminating in fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m.
The parade is expected to last an hour and a half, with some 39 different fire companies participating. Those who come to watch should be able to view the parade by lining up on any of the main streets in downtown Highland, said Gallagher, with the Town Field celebration following planned to be much like Highland’s Independence Day celebration.
“We hope the community comes out to see what their fire department is all about, and just have an enjoyable evening,” said Gallagher. “It should be a pretty good event!”
The parade will kick off with a Town of Lloyd Police escort and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office color guard unit.
Michael DePaola, president of the Ulster County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, will escort the parade’s Grand Marshall Steve DiLorenzo, who joined the Highland department in 1969 and has been a driver/operator, line officer, captain and then chief from 1987-1989. He won his first five-year term as fire commissioner in 1998 and today is chairman and still an active responder.
Additional participants in the parade will be Highland Hose Co. #1 Life Members, Amerscot Highland Pipe Band, Highland Hose Co. #1, Highland Ladies, Ulster County Department of Emergency Services, 20th Century Color Guard, Past Chief Ben Bragg, Ardsley Band, Ardsley Fire Department, Professional Musicians of Orange County, SW Johnson Engine Co. #2, Coldenham Fife and Drum Corp, Coldenham Fire Department, Hyde Park FD, First Vice President UCFVA — John Kelly, Ulster Hose Co. #5, Esopus Fire Department, Esopus Ladies, Kerhonkson Fire Company, Walker Valley Marching Band, Walker Valley Chemical Engine Co. #1, Walker Valley Ladies, Port Ewen Fire Department, Marbletown Fire Company, High Falls Fire Company, Second Vice President UCFVA Rick Dillon, Napanoch Band, Napanoch Fire Department, Napanoch Ladies, Professional Musicians of Orange County 2nd, Milton Engine Co #1, Maybrook Boy Scouts Musical Unit, Plattekill Fire Department, Cragsmoor Fire Company, Vly-Atwood Fire Company, Saugerties Fire Department, East Kingston Fire Department, 3rd Vice President UCFVA Michael Scaturro, Marlboro Musical Unit, Marlboro Hose Co. #1, Clintondale Fire Department, Accord Fire Company, St. Remy Fire Department, Kripplebush-Lyonsville Fire Company, Big Indian-Oliverea Fire Company, Big Indian-Oliverea Ladies, Olive Fire Department, 4th Vice President UCVFA Fred DeGraff, Wallkill Musical Unit, Wallkill Fire Department, Wallkill Ladies, New Paltz Fire Department, Modena Fire & Rescue, Modena Ladies, Gardiner Fire Department, Saxton Fire Department, Bloomington Fire Company, 5th Vice President UCFVA Stephanie Rice, West Hurley Fire Department, Rifton Fire Department, Tillson Fire Department, Saints of Swing Band, Ellenville Fire Department, Centerville Fire District, Lomontville Fire Department, Sawkill Fire Department and the Rosendale Fire District.