Wyalusing Firemen’s Carnival Opens Tuesday
By David Keeler
It’s that special time that some folks eagerly anticipate all year—the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s annual summer carnival, the largest event of its type in Bradford County.
The carnival grounds open next Tuesday, Aug. 9, and the fun continues until Saturday, Aug. 13. Tuesday’s events include all the exciting rides and game booths people have come to love and, of course, the food, which includes homemade pies and the carnival’s famous barbecued chicken dinners, which are available beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening’s entertainment features Karaoke with DJ Doug Walton from 7 to 11 p.m. All entertainment at this year’s carnival is being paid for by H&B II Resources of Rome, PA.
While the carnival may open on Tuesday night, the grand opening comes on Wednesday when the annual firemen’s parade brings thousands of people to Wyalusing. The theme of this year’s parade, “Welcome to the Jungle,” is bound to produce some interesting and humorous floats. The parade gets underway at 6:15 p.m. and follows the same route as usual. Line-up is at the former site of Welles Mill on Route 6.
An annual favorite at the parade, the Penn York Highlanders Bagpipe band will be back again this year. One of the oldest active pipe bands in North America, the Highlanders were formed in 1956. Dubbed the Ladies from Hell, that name was given to the Scottish highland regiments of World War I by German troops who faced them in battle and quickly discovered the ferociousness of adversaries clad in kilts.
The band has obtained many honors over the years, and one of the most noted is leading the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Scranton each year, which is the second largest event of this type in the nation. Their greatest pride, however, comes from being asked to participate in celebrations throughout the Finger Lakes/Leatherstocking regions of New York and the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania and to return year after year.
This year’s parade is sponsored by Cargill-Wyalusing. Free bike helmets will be available during the parade, compliments of Wyalusing Valley Children’s Center, Bradford/Sullivan Early Childhood Coalition and Nurse Family Partnership.
All the games, food and fun people enjoyed Tuesday will be back Wednesday night and throughout the week. Wednesday night’s entertainment will be DJ music provided by All About Entertainment from 7 to 11 p.m.
The annual carnival is the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Company’s single largest fundraiser. It’s a huge undertaking. Work has been underway all week setting up the celebration grounds on the borough park, and volunteer help is direly needed as opening day draws near. Volunteers also staff booths, cook food and do countless other chores during the carnival. Without their support, this popular event could not function. In November, the fire company returns the favor by holding a free appreciation dinner for folks who helped out at the carnival. For more information about volunteering, call Kelly Bradley at 570-746-3815. For question about the parade or other carnival questions call Jason Otis, 570-721-0251 or Janet Otis 570-721-0252.
Thursday evening’s events are highlighted by music from the Wyalusing Swing Choir, a regional favorite, which will delight carnival goers with two shows at 8 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. Wristbands can be purchased Thursday night for $6 and provide a night’s worth of fun on the rides, which again this year are provided by Nonweiler Amusements.
Friday night brings one of the largest crowds to the carnival grounds, thanks to the spectacular fireworks. The fireworks are scheduled to start at 10 p.m., and in the event of rain, they will be held Saturday night at the same time. Friday night’s entertainment is by Hillbilly D’Lux.
Saturday brings a host of daytime events starting with Heath Bender’s chainsaw sculpturing which runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., when an auction of the artist’s creations will take place. At noon it will be a $6 wristband kiddie matinee, which runs until 4 p.m. Other Saturday events include music by Jesse, Lucas and John Eastabrook and Bryan Rought, a.k.a. 11:47, from noon until 3:30 p.m. There will also be music from the Calvary Chapel Endless Mountains Worship Team from 4 to 6 p.m. and DJ and Karaoke by River City Music from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. At 9:30 p.m., winners in the bull raffle drawing will be announced. There are 18 prizes total, and you don’t need to be present to win. Grand prize is a large gas grill, compliments of Wyalusing Ace Hardware.
A special treat for wine lovers this year will be that wines from Wyalusing’s own Grovedale Winery will be available in the beer tent, along with popular brands of beer.
There’s a long list of food available every night that includes chicken barbecue dinners, pulled pork, hamburgers, pizza, walking tacos, hot sausage, steamed clams, roast beef, chicken on a stick, gyros and homemade donuts.