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South Connellsville VFC to host 79th Annual Fayette County Firemen's Convention next week

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:09 p.m.

A busy week of celebration, memories and competition begins next week when South Connellsville Volunteer Fire Company hosts the 79th Annual Fayette County Firemen's Convention and observes its 100th anniversary.

The weeklong schedule of events for the convention and anniversary begins with a memorial service at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in Albright United Methodist Church. The firefighters who have died in the past year will be remembered. A past presidents-only banquet will follow in the SCVFC Social Hall with guest speaker Roy “Barney” Shipley.

Opening ceremonies will be held 6 p.m. Monday at the South Connellsville Playground Pavilion, followed by the first nightly competition, the Battle of the Barrel, at 6:30.

Eric Halfhill and Jeremy Grubbs are two of the SCVFC firemen who compete every year. There are 50 fire departments and companies in Fayette County.

Tuesday night is Hose Laying Competition, beginning at 6:30.

On Wednesday, firemen will compete in Gear Scramble and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus at 6:30 p.m. and children get to compete in their own Battle of the Barrel, using a smaller keg and garden hoses. Pre-entry is not required.

Thursday, the event is Bucket Brigade; Friday will be the Tug Of War Competition and Fire Truck Pull. The competition begins both nights at 6:30.

The grand finale will be a parade on Saturday night, also starting at 6:30.

“We expect the parade to be a long one, with fire departments and companies from all over the area participating with emergency equipment of all kinds,” said Grubbs, parade organizer. “Any groups or organizations who would like to march in the parade can still contact me to participate. The route is from the War Memorial to the Borough Building.”

At 10 p.m., a “spectacular” fireworks display is planned.

“We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this celebration,” said Don Ringer, SCVFC president.

Activities and fun at the playground each evening will include food sold at the pavilion, a small street fair and games for the kids, Hip Hop Hooray Bounce House, bingo and small games of chance and music.

A DJ will play each night. The band Straight Up Country will perform at 8 p.m. Friday. Commemorative hooded sweatshirts, long-sleeved and short-sleeved T-shirts, mugs and a souvenir booklet will be sold.

There is no admission charge to attend.

“I can rely on the SCVFC members when anything is going on in the borough — major snowstorms, flooding, flushing out clogged pipes using their fire trucks, all of that and more. They are always there to lend a hand. They are a very important part of the borough and I wish them another 100 years of success,” said South Connellsville Mayor Pete Casini. “SCVFC members are known far and wide for their service and dedication.”

“Our fire company is the oldest active sponsor of Connellsville Little League baseball, dating back to 1948. We also sponsor Booster League football, girls softball, soccer and more,” said Ringer.

For more information on the Fayette County Fireman's Association, visit pafcfa.org. To participate in the parade, call Grubbs at 724-562-3791.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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