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Firefighters show their lighter side in Mardi Gras parade


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The Greenville Volunteer Fire Company recreates a little taste of Italy in the Mardi Gras parade on Friday night. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

COXSACKIE — Area firefighters showed their lighter side in the annual Mardi Gras parade, held this year in Coxsackie.

The off-the-wall festivities are held each year as part of the annual convention for the Greene County Volunteer Fireman’s Association, which draws fire companies from around the region.

The weeklong events started with dinners and awards ceremonies for company members, and continued Thursday with a memorial service for first responders who died in the past year.

Then it was time for the Mardi Gras parade on Friday night, and not even a thunderstorm could quell the festivities.

Firefighters from East Durham show they have the luck o’ the Irish at Friday night’s Mardi Gras parade. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

The parade got a bit of a late start after a lightning storm passed through the area, but the weather quieted down long enough for the Mardi Gras parade to step off from Kings Road in the village of Coxsackie, wind its way down Mansion Street and into Riverside Park, where more fun awaited.

The annual convention and week of events rotates between fire companies, and this year was hosted by Coxsackie’s Hose Company No. 3.

Fire companies, auxiliaries and other marchers decorated floats and wore costumes related to this year’s Mardi Gras theme — “Countries of the World” — and celebrated nations including France, Ireland, Italy, Canada and the Vikings of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, along with the U.S.

Cairo firefighters paid tribute to Uncle Sam and the good ol’ USA in the parade, which had the theme, “Countries of the World.” Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

There were horn-capped Vikings, a gondola and chefs reminiscent of Italy, France’s Eiffel tower and Napoleon, and Uncle Sam, among many others.

Not to be left out were firefighters dressed as the cartoon character Shrek and his companions.

Irish step dancers from the Farrell School of Irish Dance hopped off their float and performed for the crowd as they made their way down the parade route.

Just before the parade stepped off, a fire alarm was sounded for a three-story structure fire in the Sleepy Hollow development in Athens, with firefighters from West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company responding. No injuries were reported.

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