The Jamesport Fire Department parade, a North Fork summertime favorite, drew a large crowd to the Jamesport hamlet to watch 40 fire departments and a host of community groups march along Main Road. Photo: Alek Lewis

It seemed like old times. Spectators lined both sides of Main Road in the hamlet of Jamesport, waiting for the first chirp of a siren in the distance and the first glimpse of flashing red lights at the bend a few hundred yards up the road. Mask-free faces lit up with smiles. American flags flapped in the breeze. The scents of popping corn and sizzling burgers wafted to the road from the carnival set up at the George Young Community Center.

The community turned out last night for the return of a favorite North Fork summer event after a long pandemic year of isolation. The Jamesport Fire Department parade drew a robust crowd of spectators and participants, despite the severe weather watch in effect. As it turned out, the cloudy sky dropped only an occasional sprinkle.

Forty fire departments from around the region paraded down Main Road showing off shiny engines, ladder trucks and antique firefighting vehicles. They were joined by a host of community groups, parading with everything from vintage military vehicles to 1960s muscle cars, antique tractors and miniature horses.

The carnival, featuring rides, games of chance, food and beverages, continues tonight and tomorrow, beginning at 6 p.m. On Saturday it begins at 5 p.m. Saturday night’s event features fireworks at about 10 o’clock.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti and Alek Lewis

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.