WINDSOR, N.S. — Two special summer events are merging for the first time this year, offering visitors the chance to catch both popular attractions at the same time and place.
The Open Road Big Rig Show and Shine and the Hants County Pumper Duty Races will be held July 21 at the Hants County Exhibition Grounds.
Jamie Juteau, a deputy fire chief with the Windsor Fire Department, is involved with organizing the pumper duty races alongside Brooklyn and Hantsport firefighters.
Juteau said it made sense to marry the events as they shared much in common.
“They had a show and shine, we had a show and shine,” said Juteau, noting the big rig event also has a category for fire trucks.
“We don't have to worry about filling the whole lot with fire trucks. Plus they get to draw off of our competition at the same time,” he said.
“We're working off of each other; it's win-win,” said Juteau.
Last year, volunteers from Brooklyn, Hantsport and Windsor fire departments worked together to revive the popular firefighter competition that was once held in Bedford. Although it rained on the competition day, the 2017 event went ahead as scheduled and firefighters battled for bragging rights.
Rawdon firefighters — Edward McKenzie, Dave Winter, Justin Hennigar, Andrew Cluett, and Chris Bond — won the inaugural event, with a time of 51.86 seconds.
Juteau said he hopes to see at least 10 entrants this year, if not more. Five teams competed last year.
Juteau said the combined events will draw in people who appreciate large vehicles, firefighting apparatus and competitions.
“Anybody that's interested at all in the trucks, especially the little kids, (should) come out and see all the big trucks and tractor trailers and fire trucks,” said Juteau. “You also get to see some of the firefighting work in action. It's not totally representative of what we do, of course, but you get an idea of how fast some of these crews can deploy a hose line.”
Amanda Davis, an organizer who has been involved with the big rig event since its inception, said it made sense to merge the two events.
“When we were doing the events separately, maybe the attendance wasn’t as high but by combining the two, we hope to bring in more people,” said Davis.
She said truck drivers come from across Nova Scotia, and some from New Brunswick, to show off their vehicles.
“The drivers, of course, work hard on their trucks to try to showcase the trucks that they drive,” she said, noting they love to discuss their vehicles with visitors.
“It’s a social event too. They get to talk to other drivers, meet new people.”
Truck registration is from 9 a.m. until noon, with the show and shine starting at noon. The trucks will be judged and awarded prizes.
Crews of five firefighters from departments from across the province will compete in the pumper duty races, which start at 9 a.m. and run throughout the day.
There's no charge for the public to attend either event. The cost for truck drivers to enter a vehicle is $15; while teams competing in the firefighter's pumper duty races are asked to register for $100.
Camping is available on site, the ICE cheerleading squad will be running a canteen, and there will be a truck light show at dusk.
Davis said the event is family-friendly and something that would appeal to all ages, but added “children, especially, love seeing the big shiny trucks.”
• For details on the pumper duty race and to register, visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/390722091301697/
• For details on the Open Road Big Rig Show and Shine, visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Open-Road-Big-Rig-Show-and-Shine-232147366811431/