N.C. Transportation Museum’s Fire Truck Festival to Be Held June 24

Savethedatefiretruckfest Mw
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Transportation Museum’s fastest growing event gets even bigger in 2017, with the 3rd Annual Fire Truck Festival taking place June 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Last year saw the best turn-out for a single day event in the museum’s recent history, with some 3,500 attendees. This year, event organizers are adding more fire trucks, more emergency response vehicles and more activities to make the show an even bigger success.

The main attraction is, of course, the largest gathering of fire trucks for a public event in the state of North Carolina. Some 50 vehicles were a part of last year’s event and registrations continue to arrive for this year’s show. Not only are fire trucks from across the region displayed, but firemen from each department are always ready to answer questions, show off the equipment, pose for pictures with children and more. 

The grand finale will feature a parade of fire trucks, departing from the site’s main parking lot, heading south on S. Salisbury Avenue, returning to the museum grounds at the pedestrian crossing, and continuing to the Bob Julian Roundhouse for photos.

Special offerings for 2017 include the 200th anniversary celebration of Salisbury Fire Department. The department will publicly debut their newly restored 1941 American LaFrance fire truck, along with other 200th anniversary-themed offerings.

The Charlotte Fire Department will show off a modern fire truck and a true piece of history. The department is bringing their horse-drawn Metropolitan Steam Fire Engine 2813, nicknamed “Old Sue.” The department has maintained the pumper engine since its initial purchase by the city in 1902. It is one of the few remaining horse-drawn and steam-powered pumpers.

Questions recently arose as to whether this rolling piece of history could pass current safety protocols. The 115-year old steamer passed the state-required boiler test in March and “Old Sue” will definitely be steaming when she appears on the museum grounds.

The N.C. Forest Service will prove that not all firefighting takes place using trucks and hoses, as they fly in, weather permitting, aboard one of the department’s five N.C. Forest Service helicopters.

Music will be provided by special guests, the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band. Founded by a group of railroad policemen who enjoyed pickin' and singin', the Norfolk Southern Lawmen today are one of the nation's top corporate entertainers. Employed by Norfolk Southern, they are full-time professional musicians who log some 250 performances a year.

The band’s 2015 release, “Behind the Badge,” is a tribute to all first responders, and promises to be a hit when performed at the festival.

Other Fire Truck Festival offerings will include fire and rescue Wii games for the kids, crafts and coloring sheets, and other activities.

The event is being offered at the museum’s regular admission price, $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and military, and $4 for children 3-12.  Admission plus the onsite train ride is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military, and $8 for children 3-12.  Children 2 and under are free.

And of course, admission to the show also includes admission to the N.C. Transportation Museum, including all museum exhibits and views of the 60-acre historic site, the former Spencer Shops locomotive repair facility. 

For more information, visit nctrans.org.

Source: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources