The time is drawing near for the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen's annual convention. Preparations are being finalized as fire departments and companies from the four counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie prepare to make their way to Westfield.
The convention will begin on Wednesday, July 31, as firefighters and EMS personnel arrive to set up their dugouts at the various properties around the village.
"We want to thank all of the property owners for stepping up and participating in this convention by hosting dugouts - we couldn't have done it without you. If you see a port-a-john being placed in front of your neighbor's property, it is a sure sign that a fire department will be your neighbor for the next few days."
The first community activity will be Wednesday, July 31 - the "Kick-Off Dinner" to get the convention underway. This will be held at the fire hall from 4-7 p.m. This steak and potato dinner is also open to the public. Please contact a Westfield Fire Department member for the $10 pre-sale tickets; the cost is $12 at the door.
A memorial service for firefighters from all four counties who have passed away this year will be held the morning of Friday, Aug. 2 in the auditorium of Westfield Academy and Central School. This service is also open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.
The Comic Parade, formerly known as the Grotesque Parade, will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2. Rules have been changed recently by the SwAVF so this should be enjoyed by all as a family-friendly event. The parade will start on Cottage Street and end at the fire hall. Comic Parade awards will be announced at 8:30, followed by a dance at 9 p.m. with music provided by Kool Toonz.
The culmination of the convention is the Grand Parade on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m. The parade will begin at Westfield Academy and end up at the fire hall, with awards being presented at 7:30 p.m.