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Firefighters' convention to bring two days of fun, food, games, music to Ada

Jim Tressel to serve as parade grand marshal on Saturday

By Paula Pyzik Scott

On Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, the Ada-Liberty Township Fire Department is hosting a big, big, big celebration for the 150th anniversary of the Northwestern Ohio Volunteer Firemen’s Association.

The event commemorates the 1874 creation of the NOVFA organization in the Village of Ada. Invitees include firefighters from the 208 member departments in NOVFA.

The festivities are expected to draw several thousand people for both business and pleasure. Attractions include a firefighter waterball competition, convention queen contest, fire truck cruise, food trucks, beer tent, DJ and live music, parade with grand marshal Jim Tressel and the presentation of fire truck trophies and raffle winners. The raffle grand prize is $10,000.

Activities will be held downtown at Ada’s Depot Park and at War Memorial Park. Shuttles will be provided so that guests can park once and travel between the two sites. Camping will be available at War Memorial Park in the tractor pull area.

The convention is held annually to give member departments the opportunity to consult with each other on how they do business, including ongoing education. It is a networking event, where participants can share ideas and tactics.

The convention is effectively a big commercial for becoming a volunteer firefighter. Ada-Liberty department member Andy Badertscher told the Icon that many smaller communities struggle to find 25-35 year olds who are interested in becoming firefighters. The NOVFA convention is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about these needs and opportunities.


The Ada-Liberty Fire Station will be open to the public and host vendor displays beginning Friday. T-shirts and $10 raffle tickets will be for sale at the station. It’s also a chance to take a close up look at the equipment and talk with firefighters.

  • 9:00 a.m. - Firefighter Registration 
  • 2:00 p.m. - Firefighter Waterball at Ada High School parking lot, 725 W. North Ave.
  • 5:00 p.m. - Queen contest - Liberty Oaks, 0395 State Route 235
  • 5:00 - 11:00 p.m. - Fire Truck Cruise night (lights only after 9:00 p.m.)
  • 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. - DJ entertainment and Food Trucks, Ada Depot  
  • 9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. - Leah Crose, War Memorial Park (rear baseball diamonds)

Six candidates are vying for the title of NOVFA Convention Queen.

Ten or more food trucks and vendors will be providing food and beverages. There will be plenty of picnic tables on site.

The fire truck cruise will include entries from 1930s-present and reflects how fire service has changed over time. 


  • 8:00 a.m.-Noon - Firefighter Registration 
  • 9:00 a.m. - NOVFA Members Convention
  • 1:30 p.m. - NOVFA Parade
  • 2:45 p.m. - (Immediately following the parade) Trophy & Plaque Presentations, Raffle Drawing (winners need not be present)
  • 6:00 p.m. - Dilan Peirce, War Memorial Park
  • 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. - Electrik Circus


To participate in the 1:30 parade on Saturday, entries should line up at Ada High School. Email [email protected] to notify organizers. There will be awards for entries such as farthest to travel and oldest entry. 


Ten winning tickets will be drawn in the NOVFA Convention Raffle. 

Prizes will be:

  • 1st ticket - $1,000
  • 2nd ticket - $150
  • 3rd ticket - $150
  • 4th ticket - $150
  • 5th ticket - $300
  • 6th ticket - $400
  • 7th ticket - $500
  • 8th ticket - $1,500
  • 9th ticket - $2,500
  • 10th ticket - $10,000


  • Ada Automotive
  • Four Seasons Drive Thru
  • Hughes Body Shop
  • Norada Lanes
  • Nutrien


The association was founded in 1874 at Ada, Ohio. Article I of the Constitution and By-Laws of the association states that: "The object of this association shall be to create and maintain a brotherly and fraternal feeling by banding together such volunteer, part-paid, paid firefighters as may be carried on the rolls of fire companies or fire departments, to work for the education of its members in the advancement of their chosen duty of firefighting, fire prevention and rescue work; to hold a Conference annually for the promotion of friendship among the members; and to seek protection for fighters and their dependents through adequate legislation."