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FIRE MUSTER 2020: The Frankenmuth Antique fire Muster took place last Saturday in Frankenmuth's Heritage park. Above, Frankenmuth Police Officer Mike Mitin leads the cavalcade across the Cass River at the Dehmel Road Bridge.  (Photo by Under the Radar Imaging)

Fire Muster a breath of fresh air for downtown Frankenmuth

  The Frankenmuth community finally conducted a mini festival, albeit as a one-day event, in Heritage Park last Saturday.

  The 23rd annual Frankenmuth Antique Fire Muster brought many persons to town to view the Muster Parade and mass pumping that took place along the Cass River in the afternoon. The event is organized by the Frankenmuth Fire Department through the Great Lakes Chapter of SPAAMFAA.

  Beautiful weather greeted fire truck and other emergency vehicle owners. Over 50 vehicles participated, down from the usual 80-plus rigs. Still, FFD Chief Phil Kerns was pleased with the turnout and the events of the day.

  “Just like limited attendance baseball tournaments have been held in Heritage Park this summer, the GLIAFAA’s annual Fire Muster was also hosted in the park last Saturday. Although scaled back because of the pandemic and the numerous Canadian members not being able to cross into the United States because of travel restrictions, a great day was had by the many who were able to come and enjoy,” “Kerns said.

  With fewer trucks, social distancing was easily maintained. Heritage Park affords plenty of acreage.

  “The east side of the park is spacious, nicely shaded and able to be enjoyed by the public. The 50 or so trucks registered for the event were spaced apart and the public could stroll through the park to enjoy the all-outside event without crowds of people,” Kerns stated. “The weather was ideal for a late July muster and compliments about the park and setting along the Cass River are always overwhelmingly received from our visitors and muster participants.”

  Because of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders, the Frankenmuth Lions Club did not serve food or drink from the Lion Haus and the annual Harvey Kern Community Pavilion community weekend, hosted by the Frankenmuth Parks and Recreation Department, was not held.

  “However, the sounds of sirens and motors and pumps propelled by gasoline, diesel fuel and steam engines filled this year’s abnormally quiet summer air,” Kerns explained.

  The 11am cavalcade was also scaled back, with dozens of trucks driving through the city and country streets near and far. Unassuming visitors and guests were observed stopped in their tracks as the cavalcade passed through downtown on Main Street.

  “The muster members sure hoped that area businesses enjoyed a few more customers visiting town, that is used to welcoming guests. This is a family meeting spot that has brought many of their generations together around old fire trucks, which represent the ideals of our country and the aid they have provided to our citizens, that is either loved or a hobby that is simply tolerated by their loved ones,” Kerns concluded.

(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News