3rd annual Fire Truck Parade and Competition

Southport Fire Department brings home Dalmatian Cup

And People’s Choice Award, too!
Tue, 11/29/2022 - 12:30pm

    Southport Fire Department showcased its new engine in the 3rd annual Fire Truck Parade and Competition and took home the Dalmatian Cup and the People’s Choice Award Nov. 26.

    Madison “Maddie” Gaudette said the group of people who showed up for the planning meeting all came up with the design. “It was a team effort – a big team effort! We used our new truck that has really big bumpers on the front and back – perfect to put decorations on. The big lights on the sides of the truck used to be on Jon Smith’s tugboat. It was cool to incorporate that into the truck. It was really fun.”

    Gaudette said the decorating team, included Jon Smith and his family, Mike Buckley, Adam, Wyatt Colby, Adam Climo, Steve Gaudette, Fire (and supervisor) Chief Gerry Gamage, and Ryan Shorey started decorating Friday night.

    The small outdoor Christmas trees atop the cab and on the front bumper were from Smith Climo’s front yard. The rear of the truck was illuminated in blue lights. To accommodate all that lighting, they added two small portable generators.

    “One of the generators got too much carbone dioxide and quit out,” Gaudette explained. “Then as we passed by Dunton’s the second one quit. We pulled over, let them cool down. Drove without lights hoping to get them back on at the Mall,” he said chuckling. “It was stressful.”

    And it worked. Southport’s truck was aglow among the town fire trucks in the parade that also included Boothbay Harbor – last year’s winner, Nobleboro – 2020 winner, and Boothbay. Edgecomb Fire did not participate this year. Boothbay Region Ambulance Service lit up one of its vehicles and the Grinch, along with Mrs. and Baby Grinch, rode by in a golf cart.

    Organizer Jen Mitchell said this year’s turnout was bigger than the previous two. “The people love it,” Mitchell said. “Particularly some of the older folks, like Ramona Gaudette, Maddie’s grandmother.”

    The parade got underway at 4 p.m. starting at the Boothbay Fire Station and on to town, after driving through St. Andrews Village. Santa and Mrs. Claus, accompanied by two elves and Junior Grand Marshal Aullie Teel (son of Angela Frost and Ben Teel), were aboard the Boothbay truck leading the parade, coordinated by Troy Plummer.

    Grand Marshal Bob Hasch, wearing an abominable snowman hat, rode in a red truck driven by Win Mitchell.

    The judges – Todd Plummer/Boothbay, Billy and Kathleen Hallinan/Boothbay Harbor, Tancy Mitchell/Southport, and celebrity judge/emcee Kat Pinkham/Mrs. Maine Military 2023 – were at Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce along with Chamber board member Julie Roberts.

    Recalled Pinkham, “The Southport truck was going by and I stumbled over my words (talking about the trucks as they passed by. I never do that, or try not to! But Southport went by and I thought ‘Oh! Dang!

    “Even the judges knew as soon as they saw it,” Pinkham continued. “There wasn’t any discussion. They said, ‘Please tell us you like the one we do.’ They wholeheartedly knew right off the bat: Southport was the one. I remember saying, ‘Southport understood the assignment.’ And, hearing they had to struggle to keep their lights on ... I’m impressed!”

    Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with some children in the parking lot, and the Grinch made the rounds visiting with everyone and taking advantage of every photo opp. The Boothbay Harbor truck kept its Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas music cranked as the polar bear on the front of the truck gleamed and the blue lights on the sides sparkled; Boothbay’s truck had the Christmas tree atop it and an inflatable dalmatian on the back bumper, the truck outlined in white, blue and mutli-color lights; Nobleboro’s truck had inflatable holiday penguins atop in a helicopter and, in front, lights aglow. 

    Said Maddie Gaudette, “We plan to come back next year and keep that trophy. It’s on!”