By BEN MITCHELL
After the resounding success of last year's celebration, the city of Bingen's Volunteer Fire Department has decided to once again hold its "Christmas Fire Truck Parade" on Friday, Dec. 21.
The parade of emergency vehicles will commence at 5:30 p.m. and carry Santa Claus himself through every street in the city of Bingen.
Bingen Mayor Betty Barnes said traditionally, fire departments from different towns combined forces and brought the holiday fire truck parade through communities all over the county. However, shortly before the holidays last year, Barnes said she received word that the parade wouldn't be happening.
Determined to not disappoint Bingen residents both young and old, the city of Bingen decided last year to hold its own Christmas fire truck parade with the support of local businesses and organizations.
Like last year, this year's parade route will end at Daubenspeck Park where the public will be treated to free pizza and hot chocolate, courtesy of Beneventi's Pizza and MoJava's Drive-Thru Espresso. Christmas carols and free pictures with Santa Claus will also be at the park, thanks to the generosity of The House Church and the Bingen Eagles.
Barnes estimated that well over 50 people showed up to last year's event, which was a better turnout than expected.
"We were quite shocked, because we threw it together at the last minute," she said.
Paul Beneventi, owner of Beneventi's Pizza, said he and his staff were also caught off-guard by the high attendance of last year's event. He said they originally baked a dozen pizzas, but then had to cook "another ten on the fly" as more hungry parade-goers streamed in.
"This year, we'll be a lot more prepared," Beneventi noted.
Anyone with questions about the parade can contact the city of Bingen at 493-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org