WHFD Participates in the Annual Karl E. Kenyon Smokey Bear Fire Prevention Parade
By Chief Robert Peacock
July 15, 2021

Local firefighters continued a tradition that was started more than fifty years ago by participating in the annual Karl E. Kenyon Smokey Bear Parade on Thursday night. Formerly known simply as the Shoreline Fire Prevention Parade, the parade was reinvigorated in recent years and was dedicated in 2010 to Dunns Corners Fire Department Deputy Chief Karl Kenyon who also served a long career as a Forest Ranger for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in the Division of Forestry.

The three hour rolling parade travels through two towns and several Fire Districts while escorting Smokey Bear with Lights and Sirens. The parade stops in Charlestown, Weekapaug, Misquamicut, and Watch Hill to allow Smokey to climb down from a fire truck and interact with the children and adults while firefighters hand out fire prevention materials and offer opportunities for the public to have pictures taken with Smokey or with the fire trucks and rescue vehicles.

The parade allows local first responders to interact with the public, to introduce themselves to area residents, to allow residents to see the apparatus that protects them, to promote fire prevention, and to promote volunteerism.

The parade route passed thousands of people and the four scheduled stops drew hundreds of children and adults. The parade included more than 30 vehicles representing 24 agencies, including the Dunn’s Corners, Westerly, Misquamicut, Charlestown-Richmond, Richmond-Carolina and Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Departments, the Charlestown Rescue Ambulance Service and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.