Firemen's carnivals heating up

Tradition: Firefighters have staged the festive gatherings in Carroll County throughout the 1900s.

May 30, 1999|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Firemen's carnivals have been a tradition in Carroll County -- at least in one town -- throughout this century.

Hampstead claims to have probably the oldest firemen's carnival in the county. It also is the last carnival of the season, which opens tomorrow in Gamber and Union Bridge.

"We had a carnival to raise money to get the fire company started 99 years ago," said Edgar Stagner of the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Engine & Hose Company's carnival committee.

Not far behind in longevity is Union Bridge Volunteer Fire Company, which has held a carnival for at least 80 years. It started as a small street event. Tomorrow begins another six days of fun, games, food, music and rides on the grounds next to the station on West Locust Street.

Food is a major attraction at this carnival. Union Bridge is one of only two -- out of a total of 11 carnivals -- that sell lunch during the week, as well as evening dinner platters.

Lunch can be purchased from 11: 30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Buffet dinners are served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday.

And what would a firemen's carnival be without a parade?

Starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the firemen's parade will wind through Union Bridge from the Community Center, west on Locust Street, north on Lightner Street, west on Broadway crossing Main Street at the square, south on Whyte Street, then to Locust and disbanding on Penrose in front of the post office and VFW post.

"There will be no VFW parade this year, for the first time in many years," said Jerry Harris of the fire company.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8806 will have its annual Memorial Day service at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the post across from the fire station.

For music lovers, the following concerts are scheduled: Dixie Rebels tomorrow, Ashley Marie on Tuesday, No Alibi on Thursday, Southern Horizon on Friday, and Bob Plunkert & Real Country on Saturday.

Information: Union Bridge fire station, 410-775-7422.

The much younger Gamber and Community Volunteer Fire Company carnival also opens tomorrow next to the fire station on Route 32 at Niner Road. Memorial Day will end with a bang at this event: A giant fireworks display is to be held after dark, weather permitting.

Opening at 6 p.m. daily, the carnival will offer dinners, food booths, games and 25 rides. Providing the music will be Southern Horizon tomorrow, Big Cam & the Lifters on Tuesday, Son of a Gun on Wednesday, Ashley Marie on Thursday, Bobby Plunkert & Real Country on Friday, and Roll the Dice on Saturday.

Information: Gamber fire station, 410-795-3445.

All 11 carnivals are open Monday through Saturday and also hold several raffles for cash up to $5,000 for the grand prize, as well as a variety of items ranging from patio sets and small kitchen appliances to gift certificates and sides of beef.

The remaining schedule is:

June 7-12: New Windsor, Atlee Avenue. Lunch is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and dinner platters at 4 p.m. all six days; rides and games open at 6 p.m.; a parade is at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Information: 410-635-6373.

June 14-19: Taneytown, Memorial Park, Route 140. Dinner is at 4 p.m.; games and rides open at 7 p.m.; a parade is at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Information: 410-756-6253.

June 21-26: Sykesville, Route 32 and Freedom Avenue. Dinner is at 6 p.m.; games and rides open at 7 p.m. Information: 410-795-8021.

June 21-26: Harney, Harney Road. Dinner is at 4 p.m.; rides and games open at 7: 30 p.m. Information: 410-756-6464.

July 5-10: Manchester, York Street. Dinner is at 4 p.m.; rides and games open at 7 p.m. A firemen's parade is at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Information: 410-239-2286.

July 12-17: Winfield, 1320 W. Old Liberty Road. Dinner is at 5 p.m.; rides and games open at 7 p.m.; a fire-prevention queen contest is Monday; a parade is at 7 p.m. Tuesday; and fireworks are Friday night. Information: 410-795-1333.

July 26-31: Reese, Route 140. Rides and games open at 7 p.m. Information: 410-848-7172.

July 26-31: Mount Airy, Route 27 and Twin Arch Road. Dinners are served at 5 p.m. nightly; rides and games open at 7 p.m.; a parade is at 7 p.m. Thursday. Information: 301-829-0100.

Aug. 9-14: Hampstead, 1341 N. Main St. Dinner is at 6 p.m.; rides and games open at 7 p.m.; a fire-prevention queen contest is Tuesday; and parade at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Information: 410-239-4280.

Pub Date: 5/30/99

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