LEIPSIC — On August 15 through 18, 1969, over 400,000 men, women and children descended on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm, roughly 43 miles southwest of Woodstock, New York. The Woodstock Music Festival — billed as “An Aquarian Expositon: 3 Days of Peace and Music” — became a watershed moment for the hippy movement, and an almost certainly never-to-be-repeated social and generational happening.

That is, of course, unless something truly unexpected happens this weekend in Leipsic, where the Leipsic Fire Department is hosting the Northwestern Ohio Volunteer Firemen’s Association’s 145th Annual Firemen’s Convention. While nobody’s anticipating an influx of nearly half-a-million people, the association counts over 200 fire departments as members, many of which will have representatives on the ground in Leipsic.

“What we’re hoping for is a couple thousand people,” Leipsic Fire Department Captain Kyle Stechschulte said.

“We hope for that, but, realistically, probably several hundred.”

Foregoing an actual head count, the event shares more than a few things in common with the iconic late-60s powerhouse: music, dancing, food, and a host of entertainments — to offer an abbreviated list — on both Friday and Saturday.

“This is not just for firemen,” Mr. Stechschulte said. “St. Mary’s (Catholic Church) is actually opening up on Friday night for us; it’s their social weekend, too. So we’re kind of teaming up with them, and they’re going to open up Friday night to have activities, a band, and food down there for everybody.”

In other words, the Village of Leipsic is throwing open its doors, all but offering the key to the village to any and all comers.

Operating with the Leipsic Fire Station as a command center, food and entertainment tents will be at St. Mary’s, and lodging, in the form of camping — a mini tent city, of sorts — will be available in Bennett Park, both for firefighters attending the conference, and the public in general.

Bands scheduled to appear include Nick Lange on Friday, and Exploit on Saturday. And, of course, the firefighters will have their own special sort of fun, with waterball tournaments set for Saturday. That, along with a parade featuring vehicles provided by fire departments in attendance, and a Queen Competition, with contestants likewise provided by the individual departments, will fill Leipsic’s streets on Friday and Saturday.

But the event isn’t entirely about fun, food, and frolic. Even as attendees are celebrating, some serious work will be done by those there specifically for the conference, with roundtable discussions and a sharing of techniques and experiences.

All in all, the event will prove to be its own watershed moment for the village.

“We are actually making history in Leipsic with this event,” Mr. Stechschulte said. “This will be the first time in history that this event is held in Leipsic. It’s been held in Putnam County before, but this is the first time in Leipsic.”

(Editor’s Note: A full schedule of public events hosted at this year’s conference, along with histories of many of Putnam County’s fire departments, is available in a special section contained within this week’s edition of the Sentinel)