New Concord fireman’s festival has third generation flair

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

As the Village of New Concord celebrates its 59th annual Fireman’s Festival this weekend, one of its firefighters will be honoring the tradition his grandfather started nearly six decades ago.

For Cody Cole, third-generation firefighter and paramedic in New Concord since 2005, the festival is a family affair.  He is one of the faces natives of the area will be seeing on July 6-7 when the yearly festival begins. Cole has been around for over 10 of the fundraising events, but it was another firefighter in his family who was part of the original group who planned the entire set-up.

“It was actually my grandfather who started the festival, I want to say it was the early 70’s was when started,” he said. “So I can’t give an exact year as how long it’s been going on, but it is something that’s been an annual tradition for over 40 years.”

Cody’s grandfather, Dick Cole, helped establish the event as a four-day, homecoming-type affair according to Cole. While things are much less geared to spectacle — with the exception of the fireworks show and parade — Cody mentioned how integral the fundraising campaign is for the department each year.

“That’s our primary fundraiser for the department and the association,” Cole said. “We use the funds to buy tools for the trucks, do maintenance, buy things for the house, some of the equipment we use as far as our IM responding that we use as a system to notify other people if we’re coming into (the) station. Things like that. Training, different types of training, sending people out to training, trainings we do in house. It’s a great tool for us.”

Throughout two days, local residents and people from all over Ohio can enjoy games and food, as well as flea market. In addition to the fire department, other groups such as 4-H, local churches and the John Glenn High School band and athletic teams will be participating in the festivities.

Cole said the department appreciates all donations and participation, but also noted the outreach prospect each festival brings as one of the biggest motivating factors to put on the event each year.

“It’s just a great way for us to build the community spirit,” he said. “I was born and raised in New Concord. I grew up here. It’s nice to get and out and meet all the other people in town.”

Friday night marks the beginning of two-day festival, starting at 7 p.m.

A full list of events is below.

New Concord Fireman’s Festival event list:


Music with HB7 – 7 p.m.

Firework display – 10 p.m.


5K Walk/10K Run – 9 a.m.

Touch a Truck event for kids – 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.

Parade through New Concord – 2:30 p.m.

Chicken and pulled pork dinner – 4 p.m.

Kiddie tractor pull – 6 p.m.

Raffle draw – 6:30 p.m.