Fire trucks rumble into War Memorial Park Sunday


Johnston will have more than a distinguished presence during Sunday’s 14th Annual Rhode Island Antique Fire Apparatus and Equipment Show.

For starters, the popular event – which is geared to family fun and history – will be held inside Johnston War Memorial Park.

Then, as Richard Quetta – who will bring his prize antique memorial fire truck to the show – said earlier this week: “We will have several added attractions this year and they’re both based in Johnston.”

Quetta, a popular and long-serving officer with the Antique Fire group announced that the award-winning Johnston Historical Society will have an area featuring various pieces of fire memorabilia and artifacts that are usually on displayed at their Museum Barn n Putnam Pike.

“Some of the items will include a photo album of historical ph9otos form the Johnston Fire Department a well as a Graniteville Fire Department banner from 1910, a life (ring) preserver from one of the old rescues squad, old brass nozzles and Past Chief Capelli’s helmet.

He also announced that Mike Placella Jr. and Alan Zambarano, who serve as president and vice president respectively of the Johnston Hose 1 Volunteer Fire Company, will be on hand with their spiffy 1936 Maxim Fire Truck that originally served the Thornton section of Johnston.

Sunday’s show will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. and admission, Quetta and other club officials wanted it known, is free.

“However, we will be collecting new, unwrapped toys which will be distributed to needy children during the holiday,” Quetta went on. “This is always a fun show, the children love it and Sunday’s show will consist of antique motorized first apparatus and other fire memorabilia.”

Likewise, the always-popular fire mascot Smokey the Bear will be on hand as will Sparky the Fire Dog.

Joe Vingi of Pleasure Sounds Unlimited will be providing music entertain and mike Higgins will carve two wooden sculptures that Quetta said will be raffled off.

Higgins, who had donated his time and skills of his wood carving craft to the show in past year, will care a fire memorabilia display piece and an American Eagle.

Moreover, members of the RI Apparatus Society will be on display to accept any people who’d like to obtain a membership or receive information about the unique non-profit that was founded in 2004 by eight people with five antique firs trucks that today has 150 members with approximately 80 antique fire trucks.

Anyone who’d like to have a display in Sunday’s show is asked to contact Bill Willett at

For those fire truck admirers and others who’d like to make it a day at the show, the Providence Canteen will offer hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments and the RIAFAS will be selling T-shirts and hats to raise money for its unique organization.


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