Ex-captain Carl Schieferstein, Sr., chairman for the 74th Annual Labor Day Parade and Drill, has announced the final plans for this year's event. The parade is scheduled to step off sharply at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1 from Hicksville Fire Department headquarters on East Marie Street. The Hicksville "Hick" Fire Department Drill Team will host the Labor Day Drill tournament on Monday, Sept. 2. The drill, which will be held at West Barclay Street, will begin at 9 a.m.
This year, the events will pay respects to those killed on Sept. 11. The fire department will pay tribute to Hicksville's fallen heroes, Ex-chief Terrence P. Farrell and Honorary Chief George G. Howard. Leading our parade will be the family of Howard, flanked by the Color Guard of the Port Authority Police Department. Both Farrell, a member of the New York City Fire Department in Rescue 4, and Howard, a member of the Port Authority Police Department in the Emergency Services Unit at JFK International Airport, will be posthumously recognized as Honorary Grand Marshals.
Schieferstein, a member of the department's Independent Engine & Hose Co. # 2, and his Co-chairmen, Ex-captain Bill Sarnelli Jr. of Hose Co. # 4 and Ex Chief/Commissioner Anthony "Tony" Wigdzinski of Floodlight/Heavy Rescue Co. # 8 will lead the department's Host Division.
As of press time, over 40 fire departments will be parading and they will represent Nassau County, Suffolk County, as well as from as far as Fairfax County, Virginia and Hillsboro, New Hampshire. Also parading will be 50-year members Honorary Chief Conrad Schlauch (63 years) and Ex-chief Medard Ofenloch (60 years). Chief Patrick "Paddy" McGeough and Assistant Chiefs Steven Doucette, Robert Chiz and newly elected "Baby-Chief" Robert Lang, will lead the Hicksville Fire Department. The Board of Fire Commissioners, Department Officers and members will follow the chiefs. The Ladies Auxiliary and Explorer Post members will fall in behind Hicksville's band, the Comanche Raiders.
Schieferstein said attending the parade and drill is a great way to beat the crowds, traffic hassles and meet up with neighbors, family and friends. "We have the oldest parade and drill events in New York State," he said. "You don't have to travel too far or fight the traffic in order to have a great fun-filled day with the family. So pack up the family and head on out for a wonderful evening, followed by an action-packed day on Monday."
The parade will feature six divisions, representing over 40 fire departments and a Marshal made up of our ex-chiefs will lead each division. The 1st Division Marshal will be William "Spike" Thunell (2000-2001). The remaining divisions will be led by Philip J. LaNasa (1998-1999) with William Schuckmann (1986-1987), 2nd Division; Karl M. Schweitzer (1996-1997), 3rd Division; Al Merk (1994-1995), 4th Division; Pat Scanlon (1992-1993) and Gerry O'Brien (1988), 5th Division; and Hicksville's senior Ex-chief Louis "Red" Mertz (1972-1973) and Honorary Chief Robert Hammond Sr., 6th Division.
Leading the Divisions will be Color Guards from such local fraternal organizations as the Knights of Columbus, Vietnam Veterans, VFW, American Legion, Nassau County Sheriff's Department and the Fraternal Order of Police. Local politicians were again invited to participate.
Following the parade there will be a block party and DJ with dancing until 11 p.m. The festivities will take place at the drill site on West Barclay Street near the LIRR and the Post Office.
To be led by Ex-chiefs William "Spike" Thunell
Aide: Ex Captain Joe Milito
Color Guard: Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
Jericho Fire Department
New Hyde Park Fire Department - Lindenhurst F.D. Band
Woodmere Fire Department - Woodmere F.D. Band
Smithtown Fire Department
Farmingdale Fire Department - Long Beach Marching Band
Oyster Bay Atlantic Steamers - Long Island Ambassadors Band
Hewlett Fire Department - Oceanside F.D. Band
To be led by Ex-chiefs Philip J. LaNasa and William Schuckmann
Aide: Ex-captain Christopher Moskos
Color Guard: American Legion
Westbury Fire Department - American Concert Band
East Meadow Fire Department - West Babylon F.D. Band
Elmont Fire Department - Drummers with Attitudes Band
Glenwood Fire Department - NYC Corrections Pipe Band
North Merrick Fire Department - Roslyn American Legion Band
Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department - NCPD Pipe Band
West Hempstead Fire Department
To be led by Ex-chief Karl M. Schweitzer
Aide: Ex-captain Thomas J. Scully
Color Guard: Knights of Columbus
Carle Place Fire Department, Massapequa Fire Department,
North Bellmore Fire Department
Syosset Fire Department - Blue Devils Marching Band
East Norwich Fire Department - Rogers Band
Bellmore Fire Department - North Merrick Rum Pointers Band
Lakeview Fire Department - Our Lady of Good Counsel Band
To be led by Ex-chief Al Merk
Aides: Ex-captains Robert Johnson and Robert Telender Sr.
Color Guard: Vietnam Veterans
Bethpage Fire Department - West Islip Brewers Band
Baldwin Fire Department, Freeport Fire Department
Wantagh Fire Department - Comanche Raiders Band
East Farmingdale Fire Department - Good Times Band
Mineola Fire Department - NYPD Pipe Band
To be led by Ex-chief Pat Scanlon and Ex-chief Gerry O'Brien
Aides: Ex-captains Mike Scanlon and Richard Ficarelli
South Farmingdale Fire Department - Amityville Highland Pipe Band
Levittown Fire Department - West Babylon F.D. Band
Port Jefferson Fire Department, South Hempstead Fire Department
Roosevelt Fire Department - Drummers with Attitudes Band
Port Washington Fire Department - PWFD Band
Great Neck Alerts Fire Department - NCPD Pipe Band
To be led by Ex-chief Louis "Red" Mertz and Honorary Chief Robert Hammond, Sr.
Aides: Firefighter Donald Zinkhan and Ex-captain Robert Hammond Jr.
Plainview Fire Department - Roslyn American Legion Band
Stewart Manor Fire Department, Oyster Bay Fire Company 1
Floral Park Fire Department - Floral Park F.D. Band
Roslyn Highlanders Fire Department - Gordon Heights Pipe Band
The parade will take its traditional route: West Marie Street to Jerusalem Avenue, south on Jerusalem to Old Country Road, then heading east on Old Country to Broadway. The parade will then continue north on Broadway to West John Street, then west on John Street to Newbridge Road, before heading south on Newbridge Road to West Barclay Street and passing under the arch at the tournament site. The best place to view the parade is in the grandstands located on West Barclay Street with no admission charge.
The Hicksville "Hick" Fire Department Drill Team will host the Labor Day Drill tournament on Monday, Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. on West Barclay Street.
This year, Hicksville will once again expect additional drill teams scheduled to attend from Suffolk County to participate as post-entries. The event will mark the end to the tournament season for all departments across New York State. This last sanctioned parade and drill steps up the competition between teams and departments vying for the last chance at getting County points for the chance to capture the 2002 top point honors in their respective fields.
Many longtime residents can recall the tournaments from yesteryear when over 70 departments would come from all over New York State to participate in this summer-ending event. Historically, this local drill has attracted thousands of spectators from all across Nassau County.
Admission will be $4 for adults; $2 for children over 12. Children 12 and under are free. No coolers are allowed in grandstands.