If you've spent much time in the City of Newman, particularly at the noon hour between Monday and Saturday, you've most likely been made aware of the Newman Siren (often referred to as the "Lunch Siren", "Noon Siren", and in earlier days, the "Fire Siren").
For many newcomers, the blast of the siren at noon can be a bit more than disconcerting, but once you've had a chance to speak with locals, long and short timers, you'll learn that the noontime siren blast is just Newman's pastoral way of letting folks know that it's time for lunch!
Prior to the existence of the siren, the ringing of a bell was used to call the Newman Volunteer Fire Department to duty. Later, in the 1930's, a siren was installed to perform the same function with regular "8am", "12pm", & "5pm" blasts added as a daily service to the community (daily except for Sundays, later reduced to just a single noontime blast Monday thru Saturday).
During World War II, three blasts of the siren (in succession) were directed to be issued to alert citizens in the event of a city wide emergency.
In the early 1990's, the siren became the subject of decommission discussions due to its high maintenance costs. At this suggestion, many locals rose up in opposition to the proposed removal insisting, for tradition's sake, that the siren and its support structure be repaired and recommissioned.
Efforts to save the siren were successful ensuring that the time-honored signal at noon will continue to be heard for the foreseeable future.