Does the wail from a firetruck get your attention anytime you hear one? Do your kids drop whatever they are doing and stare at a patrol car with police lights flashing and emergency sirens blaring? If so, you need to see an emergency vehicle parade. They happen all over the country! Some ceremonies include a few first responder vehicles, and others have entire celebrations devoted to its community departments. We scoured the Internet to find our favorites and here’s what we came up with for 2016 and early 2017.
#1 Boston St. Patrick’s Emergency Vehicle Parade 2017
Every year people from all over the world flock to Boston on St. Patrick’s Day to take part in parties, celebrations, and the annual parade. This year snow and ice required officials to drastically shorten the show, but that didn’t put on damper on parade goers. One of the most infamous parts of the show is the run of emergency vehicles from around the downtown area. Led by a BPD officer riding a motorcycle, the Boston Fire and EMS vehicles participated in the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parade despite the inclement weather conditions.
Pump and ladder trucks were brought in from District 6 and other emergency vehicles from other districts also participated in the parade. Some first responders had to hustle to make it to the ceremony because they were also running calls before, during, and after the parade.
#2 Mendham Labor Day Parade of Emergency Vehicle
If you ask anyone in Mendham what their favorite part of the annual Labor Day parade is, it’s most likely they’ll tell you how much they love the line of emergency vehicles that blare down the street. Unlike other cities that may spare a car or two, Mendham brings entire fleets to the town celebration. The parade caps the end of a weekend-long celebration that also includes a hose competition featuring the town’s favorite firefighters from local districts.
After the emergency vehicles including fire trucks, ambulances, and an assortment of cars, trucks, and motorcycles from the PD finish the parade – everyone heads to Main Street. The crowd gathers to close the ceremony and in anticipation of the annual 50/50 raffle. In years, past, the drawing has surpassed more than $50,000, which helps draws more people every year.
#3 Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Light Parade
If vintage cars and old fire trucks make you happy, you aren’t going to want to miss the Annual Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Light Parade. The event is held the first weekend in August and features dozens of first responder vehicles. In 2016, the parade featured vintage police cruisers from the 70s, an antique fire truck, and an assortment of lights and sirens.
The parade is beloved by its hometown and draws huge crowds every year. One reason the participating vehicles are so exciting is that it allows people to see how technology has changed over the years. The parade is scheduled to happen again next year and is continually gaining in popularity.
#4 Annual Lights and Siren Parade in Ferndale, Michigan
One of the most highly anticipated annual events in Ferndale, Michigan is the Lights and Siren parade. The celebration is exactly what you think it would be and features classic and new emergency vehicle models using lights and sirens. Just before the parade, all of the vehicles included in the parade take part in a car show where crowds can check out fire trucks, cruisers, ambulances, and much more up close and personal.
#5 Irish Red Cross Emergency Parade in Dublin, Ireland
The Irish Red Cross Emergency Parade is one of the most talked about events in the country. Every year, the parade garners new attendees while others come back year and year again to oh and awe at the lights and sirens of the country’s first responder departments. The emergency vehicle parade is led by the Irish Red Cross and is met with applause and appreciation every time the crowd sees them coming.
#6 Shoemakers Lights and Sirens Parade
Although not as infamous as some of the other parades in the list, the Shoemakers Lights and Sirens Parade draws huge crowds and is highly anticipated every year. Led by a UTV with flashing lights, the parade showcases a variety of vehicles including some trailered vehicles hauled by flatbeds.
Shoemakers’ Fire Department is made up of mostly volunteers. Although the volunteers have a small budget, they have been praised for fast response and excellent service. The department uses the annual parade as a fundraiser. One way they add to their budget is by selling parade t-shirts. In fact, just about everyone in this small Pennsylvania town owns at least a few of the VFD’s parade t-shirts.
#7 Annual Labor Day Parade in Milford, New Hampshire
Many cities all over the country invite first responders to participate in the Labor Day parades. In Milford, New Hampshire, almost the entire parade is made of emergency vehicles. For as far as the eye can see, the parade includes fire trucks, patrol cars, and ambulances.
Each vehicle in the parade is flashing their equipment, and many are taking turns wailing on their sirens. The crowd eats up the display, and the turnout for this parade is always impressive.
#8 Clawson Fourth of July Parade
In some communities, the relationship between police and the people is strained. But, in Clawson, first responders work together to strengthen their bonds to the community and bring people together. One way this is accomplished is through the annual Clawson Fourth of July parade. Firefighters, police, EMS and anyone else involved in emergency services are invited to participate in 4th of July festivities.
Specifically, the annual parade through downtown. Children and adults alike oh and awe at the equipment installed on the trucks and cruisers while those that participate in the parade wave at the onlookers. It may not seem like much, but this small gesture goes a long way in creating a strong bond between everyone in the community.
#9 Lebanon County Pa Firemen Convention’s Parade
Every year the Quentin Fire Co. in Lebanon, PA. hosts a lights and sirens parade. Led by a police cruiser, parade goers are treated to dozens of fire trucks passing through town. The parade also includes tow trucks, tractors, and other equipment used in first response.
#10 Seaside Heights Emergency Vehicle and Pipe Band.
On St. Patrick’s Day every year, Seaside Heights hosts an emergency vehicle parade complete with pipe bands. Since it’s so close to the water, Seaside Heights has a variety of emergency vehicles that aren’t seen in other departments. No matter how many times community members have seen the parade, it’s always a treat. Tourists in the area also flock to the streets to see the water rescue vehicles, classic fire trucks, and patrol vehicles.
Does your community host an impressive emergency light parade? We’d love to know about it! Drop us a message and tell us how to find out more.