Hancock Days starts with parade

August 04, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

It was a good day for the visiting firemen.

They came to Hancock from the four neighboring states and Delaware in their firetrucks and ambulances to parade through the streets of this western Washington County town, joining the community in its first Hancock Days celebration, said Rachel Fisher, owner of Aunt Angel's gift Gallery on Main Street.

Fisher is vice president of the newly reorganized Hancock Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the celebration.

It so happens the firefighters were in the area anyway. More than 120 of them from Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New Jersey had gathered in nearby Berkeley Springs, W.Va., for the annual convention of the Cumberland Valley Firemen's Association, said Steve McBee, former chief of the Berkeley Springs Fire Department.

The visiting firefighters drove the few miles over the Potomac River bridge to line up on the western edge of Main Street for the parade through town.


The parade featured, in addition to the firetrucks and ambulances, one float, a drum and bugle corps and Del. Casper Taylor, D-Cumberland, speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, who rode through in a convertible.

Following the parade, the firefighters ended up in Hancock's town park for some competitive fun with contests ranging from a bucket brigade to a dress competition in which the winner was the first to get into firefighting gear, said Greg Yost, former chief of the Hancock Fire Department.

Fisher said Chamber of Commerce officials decided to hold their Hancock Days celebration in conjunction with the firemen's parade as a way to draw more people to the community.

"We're happy with the turnout. It was a great opportunity to get people who haven't been here before to come to Hancock," she said.

The Chamber, which has more than 40 members, was reorganized in January after two years of inactivity by the former chamber organization, Fisher said.

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