Monday parade kicks off Manchester's carnival Firefighters plan 6-day event NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro


June 30, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Pull out the lawn chairs. Unfurl the flags. The Manchester volunteer firefighters are giving their annual parade Monday.

It kicks off their six-day carnival.

Join the crowd lining York Street at 6 p.m. and watch the floats and bands, antique fire trucks and majorettes parade from Main Street to the Manchester carnival grounds on Victory Street.

The carnival features dinner specials, Nashville and local musicians, rides, games and bingo every night. The carnival begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday, so you feast upon a fireman's home-cooked supper before the parade begins.

Does anyone remember when the first parade or carnival was held?

"I've been in the company 27 years," said Richard Dell, the president. "We've had it about 76 years, I'd say. Maybe even longer than that. I know it's been a long, long time."

In fact, the Manchester Fire Engine and Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was organized in 1885.

The six days of food, rides and nightly entertainment is the company's major fund-raiser for an annual operating budget that this year is close to $240,000.

The Manchester company is "totally volunteer," said Mr. Dell. "There are no paid people in our station at all. All our EMTs [emergency medical technicians] are volunteers," unlike those of several other Carroll fire companies.

* There's always a big turnout for the parade. The best part about fire company parades like this one is the legion of fire trucks that rolls honorably down the street.

Joanna Micintry will ride in her last parade as the reigning Manchester Fire Queen. A new fire queen will be chosen during the carnival.

Steve Hossler, parade chairman, estimates there will be 70 to 100 pices of fire equipment in the parade this year.

Lineboro, Hampstead, Arcadia, Westminster, Pleasant Valley, Boring, Glyndon, Reisterstown, Gamber, Maryland Line, and the Pennsylvania towns of Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Parkville and Porter's Sideling are expected to send a truck or two.

"Every fire company as far as Thurmont, every town in Carroll County, and some companies from up near Hanover [Pa.]," he said.

The firefighters aboard will not blast sirens during the parade.

Watch for the return of a 1946 American LaFrance engine owned by Malden Miller. Not so long ago, the engine carried Manchester's firemen, including Mr. Dell.

"Knowing that we used to ride it to fires, it's a good feeling having it back in Manchester, believe me," Mr. Dell said.

It will join the brigade of privately owned antique fire trucks and cars in the parade.

Reminiscent of a time when every small town had its own concert band, three local bands will march up York Street. The Westminster Municipal Band and William F. Myers Band quicken their step to the sounds of John Philip Sousa. The Alesia Band also will march, in a rare appearance off the stage.

You can expect the preschool parade watchers to start jumping when "Barney," that overstuffed, purple plush dinosaur appears. Tuesday, he'll wander the carnival grounds, where photos can be taken for a small fee.

Look for the "Drug Bug" promoting drug awareness via Volkswagen;

floats from civic and church groups; lots of little girls twirling batons; and a chance to wave to County Commissioner Elmer Lippy, former mayor of Manchester.

The parade "is something the townspeople like," says Mr. Hossler. "We stopped it for a couple of years and heard a lot about it. We've had one ever since I was a kid, and I'm 32 now."


For six nights, the Ferris wheel will spin above the rides, games, food and entertainment of the Firemen's Carnival.

Every evening, fresh entertainment begins at 7:45 p.m. and special-price dinner platters at 4:30 p.m., said Mr. Dell. Musicians from Nashville will come to the carnival stage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Monday night, look for roast beef platters and top 40 music by the Black and Blues. Tuesday features real roast turkey and the Warrior River Boys.

Wednesday is the night for meat loaf and Anita Stapleton. Roast beef platters are served on Thursday, followed by Jim and Jesse and The Virginia Boys.

Friday, you may choose a platter of oysters or fried shrimp and listen to Roll the Dice, a local country band. Saturday closes the week with a return of roast turkey and '50s and '60s music by Big Wheeley and the White Walls.

And there's more. Every night you can dine on crab cakes, fish or chicken fillets, fried shrimp or oysters, pit beef, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, Hoffman's hand-dipped ice cream and fresh-cut french fries.

"They're all good home-cooked meals," said Mr. Dell. "I'm in charge of the kitchen, along with Malcolm Helwig and all our helpers. We hand pad the crab cakes, cook everything right there."

Tuesday and Thursday nights are special fare ride nights. Go any night for the Ferris wheel, loop-o-plane, carousel flying horses, and lots of kiddie rides, says Mr. Dell.

Bingo starts nightly at 7:30.

Don't miss the big raffle. For a $2 ticket, you might take home prizes ranging from $3,000 to $250 in groceries from Miller's Market.

The firefighters will run their own country store, candy wheel, glass and soda dime pitches.

They play with water, too, at the dunking booth. The target is "whoever we can get to volunteer," said Mr. Dell.

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