PORT ANGELES — Sparky will continue to grace the streets of Port Angeles, even though it will be sold.
The City Council approved Tuesday night the transfer of Port Angeles Fire Engine No. 5 to the Port Angeles Firefighters Association for $1.
Among the conditions of the sale is that the 1954 Seagrave fire engine, known as Sparky, must be made available for Operation Candy Cane, a 32-year-old holiday food bank collection.
Every December, Sparky is adorned with holiday lights while firefighters go through neighborhoods handing out candy canes in exchange for food and cash donations to the Port Angeles Food Bank.
For many, this is the first day of Christmas, said Fire Chief Ken Dubuc.
The fire engine will also continue to be used during Sparky Week, a longtime tradition in which the engine is used as the primary transport for second-graders to and from the fire station.
“There are now people who go to Sparky Week with their grandchildren,” said Dubuc, adding that it’s an opportunity for them to experience the trip again.
Among the reasons for the transfer is Sparky’s 62 years, which make it difficult to maintain and nearly impossible to find parts for, Dubuc said.
The plan is for students at Peninsula College to move Sparky’s body onto the chassis of an old motor home donated through Peninsula College.
“At the end of the day, you wouldn’t know the difference looking at it, but it would be a whole lot safer,” Dubuc said.
If the auxiliary decides to sell Sparky, the city will have the option to buy the engine back for $1.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].