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Mohawk Valley

Kingston hosts Fire Engine Muster

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Albany/HV: Kingston hosts Fire Engine Muster
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KINGSTON, N.Y. -- Vintage fire trucks take to the streets of Kingston on Saturday for 9th annual Antique Fire Engine Muster. A parade of antique trucks made their way from Fair Street to the Ulster Hose Company 5 building.

Spectators checked out the antique trucks on the caravan and at the Fireman's Hall and Museum, where fire departments from across Ulster County and beyond, had trucks and other vehicles on display.

The fire engine has evolved since it's early days of pumps on wheels. In the 1800s, pumps were pulled by horses, and with the invention of the automobile, firefighting moved into a new era, but it wasn't until the 1960s that the modern fire truck was defined. The trucks were equipped with water pumps, ladders, and more seats for the firefighters. Firefighters said the muster has also taken on different meaning over the years.

"In the old days, it used to be, there'd be a call for a fire, and it was a large fire, and you needed lots of them. They would muster the firemen and their horses and wagons, and buckets and ladders, and anything else they could get that they needed to fight the fire. Now, it's come to mean a gathering of antique and vintage fire engines, for showing them off," said Bill Knowles, Volunteer Firemen's Hall and Museum of Kingston.

Knowles said several thousand people attended the event on Saturday.

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