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Big parade plans for little Lyndon

Putting on a parade can be a challenge in an isolated rural town of 600 residents, where you could easily cover 10 miles going around the block.

But the Lyndon Volunteer Fire Department, as host of the 73rd Annual Cattaraugus County Volunteer Firemen's Association Convention, has invited many participants to march a three-quarter mile route at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. And they expect to see a fair representation of firefighting apparatus displayed by many of the 36 member volunteer fire companies to drive home Association's 2007 motto: "Pride, Unity and Service."

The 30-member department promises to fulfill the convention's hosting requirement by staging the procession along the town's most densely populated portion of Lyndon Center Road, ending at the fire hall.

"We may have to put cardboard cutouts out to make it look like a crowd," joked Mike Lynch, association president and Lyndon second assistant chief.

Lynch said organizers chose a home with a large front yard as the staging area, but that may have to be changed due to weather or other problems, so parade participants should look for signs to the staging area.

The Lyndon firefighters are hosting the annual event for the first time. Festivities are open to the public Saturday and the department has planned a lighthearted beach party at 8 p.m. in the fire hall following the parade.

Lynch said visitors and firefighters should dress for the beach party, where imported sand, a kiddie pool and lawn sprinklers have been set up. The Mickey Rat Band, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, will entertain.

Tonight the Association will install new officers and present awards at a banquet. On Saturday, fire demonstrations, games and food before the party will begin at noon and run through 5 p.m.

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