Parade is red-and-blue-light special

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Timmy Patrick began to bounce up and down on his dad’s shoulders June 15 when he heard the sirens announcing a line of emergency vehicles of different colors, sizes and shapes.

The vehicles were on their way into downtown Littleton, launching the 2013 edition of Fire Truck Parade and Muster.

The Centennial boy and his family were among those who lined the route to watch the parade. Attendees then moved to the Arapahoe Community College parking lot for the muster’s annual displays, demonstrations and activities.

“Timmy loves fire trucks,” said John Patrick, the 5-year-old boy’s dad. “He had fire trucks on his wallpaper, fire trucks on his bedroom shelves and even sleeps in pajamas covered with fire trucks. We came last year and he had such a good time we just had to come back.”

Lloyd Vanderhoff, a self-proclaimed fire truck nut, said this year’s parade was shorter than in past years. The cause, he said, could be that many fire departments have deployed equipment and personnel to battle wildfires around the state.

However, the parade and muster went on as planned, as a couple dozen pieces of emergency equipment traveled through Littleton to the ACC parking lot.

Many fire departments and some owners opened their equipment to visitors. Firefighters opened equipment compartments to show the gear they carry, and several trucks had open doors to allow young admirers to get behind the steering wheel and, in some cases, ring the bell and crank up the antique siren.

A big crowd gathered as two fire trucks, each with sirens wailing and lights flashing, offering rides to kids and their families.

Because kids love to play in water, there was an abundance of water available at the west end of the muster.

Two fire hoses were set up for kids. At one station the target was to push exercise balls around the enclosure, and those at the other station used the stream of water to “put out” wooden representations of flames.

“Look at the grin on my son’s face,” Castle Rock resident Tami Ambrose said as her son, with the help of a Red Rocks Fire Academy volunteer, used the fire hose. “My neighbor told me about today’s event and my 4-year-old loves fire trucks so we decided to come. I am glad we did, because Jonah is having a ball. We’ll definitely mark the date on the calendar so we can come back next year.”

This is the 28th year the fire truck parade and muster has been held in Littleton. It began in 1985 when Schomp Automotive teamed up with the Mile High Hook and Ladder Club to organize and stage the event.

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