PALMYRA TWP. (Pike) - An idea that evolved from a conversation between friends, led to campers at the Wilsonville Campground uniting to create a floating fire truck, that placed first in this year's annual boat parade at Wally Lake Fest.
    In a matter of two weeks, the floating fire truck was built, with a hose that sprayed water while it rested on a fireman's ladder. Wheels, spun on the boat and lights flashed for the crowd. There were 13 people on board and to go with the theme, everyone was dressed in fireman's gear that was lent to the group by the Tafton Fire Company.
    A seasonal camper, Pete Banko, thought of the idea for the truck, but he said the teamwork from campers was incredible, as their finished float resulted in an “amazing fete.” For their creativity and placing first, the group received $1,000 which they decided to donate $500 to the Tafton Fire Department and spend the rest on a campground picnic.
    This was the first year the campground participated in the contest and already, Banko said there are ideas for next year. He would not share any though. Despite the rain at the end of the parade, Banko called the entire experience “tremendous.”  
    Sponsored by Davis R. Chant Realtors, with judges from the region, there were 13 entries. First through third place winners received a monetary gift and everyone else received a prize. See the related photo gallery at
    1st place – The Wilsonville Campground's firetruck
    2nd place – The Beatles' yellow submarine boat
    3rd place – An aloha boat that had a floating volcano
    4th place – A Wizard of Oz boat
    5th place – A boat that carried munchkins from the Wizard of Oz
    6th place – A Cleopatra boat
    7th place – Another aloha boat
    8th place – The Lakefest Monster
    9th place – A Mardi Gras boat
    10th place – A snoopy themed boat
    11th place – Lady in White
    12th place – The work zone boat
    13th place – A ham radio boat.