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Flanders Fire Department to celebrate 70th anniversary with parade

Come Saturday at 3 p.m., the Flanders Fire Department will kick off its celebration of its 70th anniversary with a parade down a portion of Flanders Road.

The parade will began at Evergreen Road and head east to the Big Duck and the entrance to the Flanders Men’s Club, where a party will be held with free food, face painting and games for kids and other activities. 

The festivities are scheduled to run from 3 to 5 p.m. and road closures stretch from Pleasure Drive on the east to Route 105 on the west, according to the fire department. Southampton Town police Lt. Susan Ralph said the road closure will begin at 2 p.m.

Once the parade passes a particular area, Flanders Fire Chief Scott Lambeck said, drivers can then leave the area and head west, but not east. Fliers were mailed to residents to alert them to the road closures. 

“We expect to have about 15 visiting fire departments in the parade, along with marchers from Truth Community Church in Flanders, the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, the Little Flower School marching band from Wading River, the Butterfly Effect Project and a race car from Riverhead Raceway,” said Chief Lambeck. 

Five years ago, the department marked its 65th anniversary with a similar parade, the chief said, and plans to do the same for its 75th. 

“We’re planning a big one then,” he said. 

The Flanders Fire Department was founded in 1948. Before that, the area was served by the Hampton Bays Fire Department. 

In December 1947, a woman and her two sons were killed in a fire on Bay Avenue in Flanders, and that blaze spurred the creation of the Flanders Fire Department, according to the its website. 

The department was organized three months later and held its first meetings at what is now the vacant Bay View Market site on the corner of Flanders Road and Longneck Boulevard. The land on which the firehouse is currently located was donated to the department in 1950. 

The department currently has 47 members, Chief Lambeck said. The district boundaries actually don’t include Riverside, which is covered by the Riverhead Fire Department, but the Flanders district picks up the area west of that along Nugent Drive in Calverton. 

People who want to park along the side of Flanders Road to watch the parade should get there about a half-hour early, the chief said.

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