New Haven Fire Muster fills Broadway

Visitors stroll among more than 100 firefighting vehicles from three centuries at the 2019 New Haven Fire Muster. Organizers announced July 31 that the 2020 event has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More Allen County summer events have been canceled.

New Haven Fire Muster, a daylong celebration of firetrucks and family, had been scheduled for Aug. 22 in Schnelker Park and throughout downtown New Haven.

On July 31, sponsors posted the bad news that has accompanied so many endeavors as the state and nation grapple with the risks and crowd controls of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And on Aug. 3, organizers of the annual Covington Art Fair announced that the Covington Plaza tradition will not be held in 2020.

"Unfortunately, due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the annual Covington Art Fair is canceled this year," the announcement said. "It had been rescheduled for the weekend of Aug. 22 and 23, but based on the recent information issued by Gov. Holcomb, the show cannot safely be produced this year."

Art Fair coordinator Glenda Stoppenhagen said "although the over 80 artists and Covington Plaza merchants will be very disappointed, this was the best decision we could make." The fair is scheduled for next year on June 26 and 27, 2021.

This note can be found on the New Haven Fire Muster's website and Facebook page:

"It is with great sadness that we regret to inform you that we will be cancelling the 2020 New Haven Fire Muster event. With the current state of COVID-19 and executive orders in place for the care and protection of our participants and staff we have made this hard decision.

"We will be reaching out to vendors, participants & our generous sponsors with information and next steps."

Firefighter/medic/chairman Ray Easterly, who was heading up the fourth annual Muster, had said 2020's event would be bigger and better than its three predecessors, with more brand new trucks, demonstration trucks and ambulances.

Money earned by sales of merchandise and entry fees last year went to support the Hoosier Burn Camp in Battleground, Indiana; the Fort Wayne Fire Museum, the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department and this year’s Muster.

The annual Muster, which is billed as the largest such event in the Midwest, was expecting to draw firefighting equipment from as far away as Maine and North Carolina. Vehicles also were expected from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and across Indiana. Police units from New Haven and Fort Wayne were scheduled to display specialty vehicles.

Easterly and some other committee members said earlier that the would travel to the Frankenmuth, Michigan, Antique Fire Truck Festival July 25 with their 54-foot-long 1999 triller/ladder truck. “Though we will be displaying our truck, the real reason is to market the New Haven Fire Muster, encourage people to bring their antique trucks and invite visitors and vendors to come to our event," Easterly said.

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