Hurricane Arthur was no match for the water wars that emerged along the route of the Stewart Manor Fire Department’s 16th annual Fourth of July parade. Despite ominous-looking clouds and cooler than usual temps, spectators stood ready with water balloons, Super Soakers, buckets and garden hoses, as they awaited the onslaught from the many fire departments who participated in the parade.
With an escort from the Nassau County Police Department Third Precinct, the parade stepped off at 10:30 a.m. on Stewart Avenue at Fernwood Terrace, proceeded west to Covert Avenue, then wound through the residential streets of Stewart Manor before ending on Covert Avenue near the Stewart Manor Fire Department.
Dozens of Nassau County Fire Riders—a motorcycle club started by the FDNY “to unite firefighters, have a good time and promote safe motorcycling” — led the procession. The Stewart Manor Fire Department Color Guard followed closely behind, paving the way for Stewart Manor Mayor Gerard Tangredi, Trustee William Grogan, Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino and State Assemblyman Ed Ra.
This year’s parade featured the Floral Park Fire Department marching band, antique fire trucks from North Bellmore and Floral Park, and various apparatus from the following departments: Stewart Manor, Bellerose Terrace, Mineola, New Hyde Park, South Floral Park, Floral Park Centre, Manhasset-Lakeville, Hempstead, Uniondale, Garden City Park, Franklin Square & Munson, West Hempstead, Elmont, Valley Stream, Malverne and Lynbrook.
Mother Nature stepped in just as the parade came to an end, but the rain did not put a damper on the post-parade festivities. As in previous years, parade participants and spectators enjoyed a barbecue and awards presentation in the municipal parking lot on the corner of Chester and Covert Avenues.
Editor’s note: See next week’s Floral Park Dispatch for more photos.