Lake Wales Unveils New Fire Truck At Christmas Tree Lighting
by James Coulter
The City of Lake Wales received an early Christmas present in the form of a shiny red fire truck, which it unveiled to the public during its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday evening.
More than two dozen local residents gathered around the Christmas tree outside the City Administration Building downtown to see it light up for the first time this holiday season during that evening’s ceremony.
Prior to the tree lighting, the Babson Park Gnats, the student choir from Babson Park Elementary School, entertained everyone with a few holiday classics such as “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”
Mayor Eugene Fultz used the opportunity to remind everyone about the true spirit of the holiday, how the season is about spending time with family, and how we should reach out to people who might not be as privileged as us to give them a helping hand this season.
“We all must remember, even though Christmas might be a pleasant time for us because we have family around us, always remember there is someone out there who does not have family and cannot celebrate the same way you do, so please be mindful of people who may need help this holiday season,” Fultz said.
Giving to others through charity and good will is something that his city is especially great at doing, and he expects the city to continue showing its open heart to others throughout the county during the holidays, he said.
“That is one of the things that we are good at here in Lake Wales,” he said. “We have done that many times, and we can continue to do it, not just in Lake Wales, but in Polk County, because we have good people with big hearts and we are hoping that you can continue to do that.”
The big reveal that evening, aside from the Christmas tree lights, was a new state-of-the-art fire truck that the local fire department recently received.
The department had assembled the truck and its equipment just in time to display it during the ceremony that evening, explained City Clerk, Jennifer Nanek.
Following the ceremony, attendees could take an up close and personal look at the new truck and even snap a few pictures of it and the firefighters there. The new vehicle replaces an old truck that had been with the department since 1984. That truck has since been donated to the Lake Wales Depot Museum.
The new addition will help with the already great reputation of the city’s fire department, which has a faster response rate and higher rating in regards to insurance than any other department in the county, Mayor Fultz explained.
Overall, the new truck, the children’s choir, and the lighting of the Christmas tree drew in a great turnout for an equally great annual holiday tradition for the city.
“The turnout is fantastic,” Nanek said. “We have a great group out here. I love the singing and the enthusiasm of the young people out here. They are having a great time being out here.”