Last Saturday night, the West Paterson and Totowa Fire Departments hosted their first Holiday Lights Parade, much to the delight of hundreds of people who lined up along the streets in both towns to watch. Over 140 trucks, apparatuses, and floats drove down Totowa's Union Blvd.; Totowa Rd. and the Hillery St. Bridge; onto McBride Ave. and through the Dowling section of Woodland Park.
During the parade, Santa's helpers collected toys along the route from spectators. Over 300 toys were collected, which will benefit families in need in Totowa and Woodland Park, as well as St. Jude Children's Hospital.
At Wednesday evening's council meeting, WPFD Chief Paul Salomone spoke during public portion, thanking all the entities that made the evening come together and work smoothly, including the Totowa and Woodland Park Mayors and Councils, Police Departments, Fire Departments, Public Works Departments and the County of Passaic. The parade, which was put together in less than a month, could not have been possible without these entities, as well as the event sponsors:
• GRAND SPONSORS: Salomone Brothers Inc., SBI Materials, Salomone Redi Mix, and SBI Waste Removal Services
• PLATINUM SPONSORS: New Jersey Orthopedic Institute and New Jersey Fire Equipment
• GOLD SPONSORS: ServPro, ADTECH North Atlantic, and B&G Organic Waste Recycling
• BRONZE SPONSORS: CNP Fit Testing, Lou’s Landscaping & Design, Real Amusements, Gun For Hire, G&S Financial Services, and DJS Financial Services
"If not for the vision of Chief Salomone, this event would not have happened," Mayor Kazmark said. "There was no hesitation. The Fire Department quickly came together to execute a plan." The Mayor added that everyone involved came together with one common goal in mind: to make Christmas a little more special for children in need. The parade organizers feel they more than exceeded that goal.
"The definition of community shined brightly through Totowa and Woodland Park," Chief Salomone said after the event. "We could not be more proud to say we serve those communities."
Organizers will be having a post-event meeting this week and do hope to make this an annual tradition.