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Saturday, June 20, 1998      11 a.m. to 4 p.m.   

As part of the New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Weekend, the New York City Fire Museum and the Fire Department of New York are presenting a free, fun-filled and educational street fair on Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spring Street, between Hudson and Varick Streets, will be closed for this event.

On hand will be horse-drawn vintage fire rigs, modern fire trucks and an ambulance, firefighters and EMS workers who will demonstrate their skills, organized events for children and adults, musicians and other entertainers, celebrities, and a food court. The Museum Open House will feature tours of its interactive Fire Safety Education Apartment, "please touch" artifact tables, and vintage film footage of fires and apparatus will be screened.

The street festival has been designed to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Greater New York City, and the merger of the fire departments of the five boroughs into one FDNY.

Some of the highlights are:

*Opening Ceremony.  At 11 a.m. with FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen arriving on board a vintage 1904 Chief's Car, and accompanied by the FDNY Emerald Society Bagpipes Band. He will be followed by a surprise celebrity and an 1863 steam engine pumper pulled by two Clydesdale horses.

*Modern and vintage fire trucks. Highlights include a 1854 silver hose wagon, a tower ladder, fire engine, and ambulance on view.

*Firefighters demonstrations.  See a rope rescue off the Museum's roof, and the use of foam to extinguish certain fires.

*Ambulance and EMS workers showing their activities

*Interactive children's events. Activities include a Jr. Fire Fighter Challenge which involves carrying a hose and rescuing a "dummy," and an art project creating a dalmatian puppy puppet ($1 materials fee)

*Public participation in brush fire target practice

*Adult relay race to suit-up in bunker gear

*Music.  Hear costumed strolling buskers and a retired firefighters Barbershop Quartet

*Book signings.  Ff. Kevin Hannafin and Hooper, the hero's of Scholastic's Fire House Dog and Joy Massoff, author of Fire, also published by Scholastic.

*Food . Good and exciting food from restaurants and vendors founded in turn-of-the-century New York

*"Hot Dog," the FDNY mascot

The public is advised to take public transportation. To get to Spring Street between Hudson and Varick by subway, take the 1 or 9 line to Houston Street, or C or E line to Spring Street; by bus, take the M10 to Spring Street. The New York City Fire Museum occupies a 1904 firehouse and displays one of the most comprehensive collections of fire-related art and artifacts from the 18th century to the present. The museum shop carries a wide range of fire-themed gifts.

This event, co-sponsored by FDNY, is part of New York City 100: The Greater New York Centennial Celebration, a year-long commemoration of the consolidation of more than 40 local governments into what we now know as Greater New York. The celebration's goal is to illuminate the City's rich heritage through specially created events and programs, and, in addition, package under a single centennial umbrella and logo exhibitions, lectures, symposiums, and other programs that have been scheduled by other New York institutions. Marie Salerno is President of New York City 100. New York City 100 is a not-for-profit corporation and can be reached at 212-579-8726

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