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Antioch fire department kicks off century celebration

First Fire District Antioch. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

First Fire District Antioch. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 5, 2013 1:56AM

March 13 marks the 100th anniversary of the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department. The public is invited to kick off the anniversary year at a party that begins at 7 p.m. at Antioch Community High School.

The village fire department was organized March 13, 1913, by 25 local volunteers, followed by the organization of the First Fire Protection District of Antioch Township in March 1934. Today, the department, funded by the village and township, serves 37 square miles out of three fire stations, providing fire protection services to 27,000 village and township residents.

“We have 86 volunteer firefighters who will take the original oath of office administered 100 years ago to the original group of volunteers,” said Fire Chief John Nixon. “We have invited many of our past firefighters but at this point I don’t know how many will attend. We have hundreds of retired firefighters and many have passed away.”

Firefighters past and present will also receive a commemorative badge to mark the anniversary year.

A photo display will be part of the March 13 event, where refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Other events scheduled in 2013 include a mini-fire department festival on July 4 and a street dance sponsored by the Antioch Firefighters Association and the village. The dance, not yet scheduled, will be held in the fall on Toft Avenue and the neighboring municipal downtown parking lot and will feature live music, a beer tent and food.

“We will wrap up the year with a formal dinner dance for our fire department members,” said Nixon. “We have a lot to be proud of, so we want to make this a year to celebrate.”

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