A more than 50-year tradition got underway Thursday at the village field in Schenevus. The Schenevus Fireman’s Carnival, which ran from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, continues from 6 to 11 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free for the even, which is held off Race Street.
People should expect a great carnival, chairman Ed Hawver said. It’s a family-oriented event that includes a midway, a Ferris Wheel, a restored 1900 merry-go-round, kiddie rides and bingo, along with nightly musical performances and traditional fair food.
The fire department has been running the carnival for about 56 years as a fundraiser. Its importance can be seen in the help it provided to cover the local share of a new fire truck purchased in April.
“That’s one of the reasons we have this thing,” he said.
Hawver, who has been with the department for 40 years, said he’s not surprised that the approximately 45-member fire department received such great help from the community.
“Without that we couldn’t do it,” he said.
One of the highlights is the fireworks tonight at 10 p.m. Rich Kenyon is an event organizer who has been a member of the department for 50 years. The fireworks are an “unbelievable show,” by Alonzo’s Fireworks, he said, and it’s not unusual to have 10,000 people witness the 20-minute show. The firm uses the bank of the nearby creek to stage it.
There is a Chinese auction at 11 a.m. Saturday followed by a chicken barbecue, and at 6 p.m. a parade down Main Street will include about 70 units, he said. This includes representation by almost all county departments, the Laurens High School marching band, antique cars and trucks and floats.
Also in the parade and on display during the carnival are a variety of vehicles owned by members of the NY-Penn Military Vehicle Protection Association — a local chapter of a worldwide organization. A World War II Medal of Honor recipient is being brought by one of the members. A 155mm artillery piece pulled by an M4 high-speed tractor, a command car and jeeps are among the vehicles that will participate in the parade.
It’s a way for members to preserve the vehicles and honor veterans, said two of those involved, Bill Fredette and fire department member Joe Staruck. They approached the fire department about their participation four years ago, and have been involved most of the years since. The numbers of members who participate vary, but about seven are expected this year, Staruck said.