Millsboro parade to be a highlight of firefighter convention

How many fire trucks can you fit in one parade? How about three states’ worth?

Millsboro will host a full firefighter’s parade on Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m., as part of the annual Del-Mar-Va Volunteer Firemen’s Association Convention.

The Millsboro Volunteer Fire Department has the honor of hosting the 86th annual men’s convention and 81st ladies auxiliary convention from April 30 to May 2.

“We’d like folks to come out. This is a fairly big-size parade for the Del-Mar-Va Association, with this many pieces of apparatus,” said Ronald O’Neal, MVFD president.

Besides the procession of 35 pieces of fire apparatus, two bands are performing: Woodbridge High School and the Citizens’ Hose Company of Smyrna.

“I can’t remember a convention parade where we’ve had one marching band, let alone two,” said O’Neal. “This is pretty cool. We’re hoping for a great day.”

The parade will use a shortened version of the town’s Christmas parade route. Line-up is near the Delaware Eye Institute on Mitchell Street. The parade the turns onto Wilson Highway, left at Railroad Avenue, right onto Main Street, going through downtown Millsboro before turning right on State Street and ending at Millsboro Middle School.

Afterward, the public is being invited back to the fire hall for hotdogs and more. Trophies will be awarded afterward, too.

“We’re holding it this year because the outgoing [association] president is from our company,” said O’Neal of Robert “Bob” Hudson.

He estimated that Millsboro has hosted the convention three times. The last time was in 2006.

The presidents rotate between the three states in the association, so conventions do, too.

“We’re pretty excited. This is pretty good for the Del-Mar-Va association. We’re thinking it’s going to be a nice day.”

He estimated that 90 fire companies are members of the association and about 130 delegates will represent 40 companies in Millsboro.

After two days of meetings and banquets, Saturday begins with a memorial service for members of the organization who passed away throughout the year — both emergency responders and the auxiliary.

They’ll be ready to celebrate the future when the parade starts that afternoon at 2 p.m.