MERIDEN — Dozens of fire and emergency service workers, photographers and enthusiasts attended the ninth annual Silver City Fire Fest on Saturday.
Fire trucks, police cruisers and emergency service vehicles were on display in the parking lot of The Comfort Inn and Suites on East Main Street.
Booths showcased various styles of vehicles, photography, fire equipment and uniforms.
“It’s just expanded every year, we’ve got more and more vendors every year,” said organizer Michael Quinn, vice president of the Connecticut Fire Photographers Association.
Quinn said around 25 vendors were featured and about 100 people attended the event throughout the day. It was the first year privately owned vehicles were featured. Some are still in service.
“We get great support and cooperation from the Meriden Fire Department and the Meriden Volunteer Fire Department and the Meriden Police Department,” said Quinn, who also serves as the city’s Corporation Counsel.
The oldest vehicle on display was a Cheshire fire department truck, a Ford Model T series from 1912.
“It’s just a great event to honor public safety and the men and women who work in it and honor the people who (are) preserving the history,” Quinn said.
Charlie Morin said it was the third year he has showcased Squad 51, a replica of the fire truck from the 1970s TV show “Emergency!”
“It inspired me and thousands of other people to become paramedics,” Morin said.
Morin bought the body of the 1971 truck and worked to restore it with equipment and medical supplies from the 70s.
“I came to California to find it buried in storage for more than 15 years,” Morin said.
Self-proclaimed “firebuff” Charlie Tentas, said it was his sixth year at the event. Although he has never worked as a firefighter, he said he has enjoyed re-creating model fire trucks for years.
“It’s a good hobby,” Tentas said. “I got into making models over 30 years ago.”
Quinn said he hopes to add more vendors and possibly have commemorative T-shirts next year.
“It’s just been growing and growing,” Quinn said. “We’re looking forward to our tenth year.”