Lone Pine residents will be honoring volunteer firefighters this holiday season with a Christmas parade dedicated to local men and women who volunteer to leap from bed, dash from the dinner table or leave their day jobs at the drop of a hat to help anyone in need.
The Lone Pine Christmas Parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 and will feature firefighters from virtually every volunteer fire department in the county, dozens of entries from local citizens and Lone Pine Fire Chief LeRoy Kritz as grand marshal.
âThis Christmas parade is going to be all about the fire department,â said Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathleen New. âI think theyâre the most neglected volunteers we have, and we forget sometimes that theyâre there to save lives.â
New said the Chamber selected the longtime fire chief as grand marshal because of his long history of dedicated service.
Kritz has been a member of the Lone Pine Fire Department for more than 40 years, serving more than 20 years as chief, and recently announced that he will be retiring next summer.
âHeâs been chief for a long time,â New said. âHeâs done a bang-up job without any recognition and heâs stuck it out and done a great job.â
But the Lone Pine Christmas Parade is about more than just celebrating the townâs unsung heroes; itâs about community. Thatâs why New and the Chamber are inviting everyone to participate.
âIf you want to be in the parade, all you have to do is show up,â New said. âWe have everything from horses to pets and floats. Itâs all about our community.â
Following the parade, families with youngsters are invited to head over to the VFW Hall, where Santa Claus himself will have an open ear for anyone who wants to tell him their Christmas wish list.