FireFest in downtown Chatham, September 23, 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Johnstone)

Thousands Gather At FireFest During Heat Wave

Thousands of people still made it out to this year’s FireFest event in Chatham, despite the sweltering hot weather.

FireFest, which officially kicked off on Thursday night in Chatham, wrapped up on Saturday with events downtown.

“It exceed our expectations after all the planning that went into it. The weather was top shelf and we had a record number of trucks turn out. Really, it was off the charts as far as success and the feedback we’re getting is just phenomenal,” says FireFest Co-Chair Brent DeNure.

4-year-old Silas Murphy at FireFest 2017. Submitted by mother Sherry Murphy.

4-year-old Silas Murphy at FireFest 2017. Submitted by mother Sherry Murphy.

Despite the hot temperatures during the heat warning that was issued for Chatham-Kent on Saturday, DeNure says the event still had a great turnout.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we had about 20,000 people coming and going throughout the day. The streets were full almost all day. From about 9:30am in the morning until we closed up shop at 4pm, there was just constant traffic” says DeNure.

DeNure says people from all over come to the event each year.

“Firetrucks participate from as far away as Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, and Kalamazoo. To have somebody stop you in the street and say they woke up at 6am to drive four hours each way to be at the event… it’s just very rewarding,” says DeNure.

DeNure says the wheels will soon be in motion for next year’s event, they just need to decide who will be championing the cause.