A little rain and drizzle couldn't stop the parade and festivities at the Fords Fire Company #1, which celebrated the centennial of its founding on Saturday.
"We are here to honor Fords Fire Company which has, since 1911, served us for over a century. Enjoy yourselves despite the weather," said Kurt Epps, the host of the 100th anniversary parade.
In addition to celebrating their centennial milestone, the Fords Fire Company also honored John Sam Deffler, who served the company for 51 years and recently passed away on May 18th. Deffler was the parade's Honorary Marshall; his old uniform was placed at centerstage and honored with a teary and heartfelt salute.
The parade introduced old fire trucks and other vehicles that were used to protect the citizens through the decades. Trucks and vehicles from as far back as 1918 were brought to out for the parade's audience to see. More modern vehicles from current times were also introduced to show the progress of fire departments everywhere.
Along with the Fords Fire Company, other fire departments from the township, including the Colonia, Iselin, Avenel, Hopelawn, and Port Reading companies, were also in attendance. Other area fire departments also made appearances throughout the parade, including companies from Sayreville, South Amboy, Perth Amboy, Stirling, and Wharton.
Ingrid Bauer, an onlooker at the parade enjoyed the festivities. "I am very proud of him and all the firefighters and everything they do for us," said Bauer, whose husband, Howie Bauer, is the chief of Fords Fire Company.
"Thank you for coming out in today's weather to brave the elements and pay tribute to our firefighters. Because remember, no matter what the weather, they will always come out for you," Epps said.