TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute Firefighters Local 758 is hosting the 47th annual convention of the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana in the heart of downtown Terre Haute.
Fire Chief Bill Berry said, “We knew we were getting this event and we were the very first booked convention for the new convention center.”
Hosting a convention in Terre Haute was something local firefighters had hoped for for several years.
President of Local 758, Bob Malone, said, “We didn’t quite have the venue for it, you know, 6 -7 years ago when Chief Bill Berry asked for it, up in Indianapolis at one of the state conventions. Now that we have our new convention center, we’re excited to show it off, we’re excited to show off Terre Haute and just everything we have to offer.”
“I think it’s going to be great to highlight this convention center,” Berry added.
Highlighting the convention center means highlighting all of downtown Terre Haute. From Tuesday until Saturday, the city will be buzzing with visitors.
“They’re going to eat; they’re going to enjoy beverages at all the local establishments. Obviously, they’re going to stay in the hotels here in town,” Berry said. “We’re bringing over 200 firefighters, more guests, some dignitaries across the state, so you know, they’re going to be using all of our amenities, so it’s going to be good for the community.”
Scout Wrin, owner of Scout’s Pizzeria, and The Verve, both on Wabash, says it’s great to have out-of-town guests come to see what Terre Haute is all about.
“Anytime we get extra business we’re happy to serve the people, and just to serve firefighters, we might throw a special out,” Wrin said.
Chief Berry said while most of the scheduled activities are for the firefighters, they wanted to find a way to involve the whole community. Local 758 decided on a block party.
“Wednesday we’re having a block party we’re going to be closing down Wabash Avenue between 7th and 9th street,” Malone said.
“Our local 758 union, they got Phreak Show, the band. There will be food vendors, there will be beverages, there will be a lot of people to meet, there will be a lot of mingling. So, I think it will be great for the community,” Berry added.
The block party is open to the public. All ages are welcome with a $5 donation. The block party will run from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. in front of The Terre Haute Convention Center.