It’s Celebration Time
The aroma of barbecued chicken is drifting over the town, the streets are filling with people and you can see the excitement and anticipation on most every kid’s face. It’s that special time in Wyalusing that comes every summer. It’s celebration time.
No question about it, the Wyalusing Firemen’s Carnival is the most festive time of the year in our community, and it’s been that way for decades. Holding the honor of Bradford County’s largest firemen’s carnival, Wyalusing’s annual celebration brings more people to our community than any other single event.
For most people, the firemen’s carnival is a time of fun, food and games, but for the folks who work to pull the whole thing off, celebration week boils down to a lot of hard work and long hours.
As you walk through the carnival grounds, you’ll see people that you don’t normally associate with the fire company staffing the various booths and performing dozens of other tasks. It’s this spirit of cooperation that really makes Wyalusing’s carnival such an outstanding success.
By the way, the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department is Wyalusing’s oldest volunteer organization and even pre-dates the incorporation of Wyalusing Borough, which was chartered in 1887. Although it’s gone through a number of reorganizations over the years, our community’s volunteer fire company dates back to the early 1880’s and likely even before that, however, the earliest record books are lost to history. The records that do exist, including a journal in the possession of today’s fire company, trace the roots of Wyalusing’s volunteer fire company back to 1892, however, newspaper accounts in early issues of the Wyalusing Rocket show there was a volunteer fire company here in the 1880s.
Carnival week, as we know it today, dates back to the 1950’s when the fire company sponsored historical pageants on the borough park which raised funds to purchase a new fire truck. Old photos of early firemen’s celebrations in the 1890’s show uniformed firemen marching along the then unpaved streets of Wyalusing. This week’s The Way We Were photo features Wyalusing Firefighters marching on Main Street in the late 1800’s.
Now a community tradition, carnival week remains a special time of year that, for most of us, seems to come and go too quickly. When the festive week ends, it signals the rapid approach of the new school year and the waning weeks of summer.
Carnival week is also a crucial time for our local fire company. The money earned is what pays the bills and helps purchase trucks and other equipment needed to protect our homes and businesses. So think of the money you spend at this year’s carnival not only as money well-spent for food, fun and entertainment, but also as an insurance premium that goes a long way toward bringing an important measure of safety and protection to our community.
With that in mind, there’s likely no better way to drop a few dollars and have a great time while you’re doing it.
And keep in mind that increased traffic on our roadways these days makes it even more important to be on the lookout for pedestrians as you drive through Wyalusing during carnival week. Do your part to ensure that this festive time in our communty doesn’t turn ugly.
There are lots of things changing in Wyalusing, but the carnival isn’t one of them. This year’s carnival will keep our community’s summer tradition alive. I can’t wait. I’ll see you there.