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SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ Lt. John â€śJackâ€ť Christy, president of the Tuckertown Fire Department, will lead this yearâ€™s South Kingstown Firefighters Memorial Parade as grand marshal Sunday.
Christy is a humble man who has been serving our country as an officer and a firefighter since 1953.
â€śIâ€™ve been at the Tuckertown Fire Department for 23 years,â€ť Lt. Christy said in a recent interview. â€śIâ€™ve been volunteering for 60 years [as a firefighter].â€ť
Before Christy came to South County he lived and worked in New Jersey putting out fires and held a job in the commercial boating industry.
He has served as the president of the Tuckertown Fire Department for 15 years.
â€śI am the undisputed president,â€ť he said with a laugh. â€śEvery time we have an election, nobody else wants the jobâ€ť.
The festivities begin at noon Sunday with memorial ceremony at the South Kingstown Firefighterâ€™s Memorial Square. The ceremony is open to the public and is held to honor fallen comrades.
Christy will then lead the parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m., and he is very honored to be doing so.
â€śThey will probably have me right in the front in a convertible,â€ť Christy said.
The parade, sponsored by the South Kingstown Firefighters Relief Association, will begin at the Peace Dale Fire Station on High Street and will continue through Main Street and Holley Street; it finally draws to an end at the South Kingstown Forest Fire Station on Church Street in Wakefield.
Christy will lead several units through South Kingstown, including the South Kingstown High School Band, the Mystic Pipes and Drums, the Colonial Navy of Fall River, the Yankee Volunteers of Seekonk, the Portuguese Independent Band of Bristol, and the Gansett Guard. In addition to the South Kingstown volunteer firefighters, firefighters from Tiverton, Western Coventry, Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond, Westerly, and the Rhode Island Antique Fire Apparatus Society will be marching in the parade.
Rhode Island Legislators, South Kingstown town officials, the Luna Cycles, the Jonnycake Center of South Kingstown, the South Kingstown Elks and members of Colors for a Cause will also be marching Sunday.
In addition to the parade and memorial ceremony, the South Kingstown Firefighters Relief Association is also sponsoring a â€śTouch a Fire Truckâ€ť event at the Wakefield Mall this Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is open to public and is free of charge.
The association provides support to South Kingstown firefighters and their families through financial benefits, scholarships, and organizing the annual parade which acts as a memorial for fallen South Kingstown firefighters.