The annual Sheffield Fireman's Festival has hit a milestone.
This year marked the 50th celebration. On Saturday, it included a parade through town with onlookers lining the route.
Lance Fiscus, parade chair, said there were around 60 units. Of those, he said six or seven of them were Zem Zems.
TImes Observer photos by Colin Kyler
Above, the Zem Zems put on a show during Satuday’s 50th annual Sheffield Firemen’s Festival. Below, clown and juddling extrordinaire entertains the crowd. For more photos, see page A-10
"They hadn't been here in a long time," Fiscus said.
According to Fiscus, it was fortunate for the rain to hold off. Though there were clouds in the area, the parade didn't suffer the same fate as the one that was cut short in Warren during the Fourth of July Celebration.
Melanie McMillen, festival chair, said the week-long event was well-attended. It had great weather, she said, as well as a lot of community support.
It was nice for the Zem Zems to participate for the 50th anniversary, McMillen said, and it made for a nice parade. Already, she said people are looking forward to working on next year's festival.
Financially, McMillen said the event relies on the community. They've now survived 50 years of festivals, carnivals and parades.
"We like to do family-oriented events and give back to the community," McMillen said. "This is a nice way to do it."
In the future, McMillen said she hopes it will continue for many years. For events like this to last so long, she said it's rare.
There have been changes over the years, McMillen said, with drum corps competitions no longer part of the festivities. It became cost prohibitive, she said, and in the early 1990s organizers had to rethink everything and even change the name from Sheffield Tournament of Drums.
"I just want to thank our sponsors, advertisers and the community," McMillen said. "It's important to know they're behind us and willing to help out."