The carnival trucks sat packed with promise of joy in the on Southwest Avenue on the 4th of July. With signs like “Candy Apples,” or “Kiddie Coaster,” they sat poised to be unfurled for the annual Carnival beginning on Thursday and running through Saturday.
Running annually since the 1940s, the carnival serves as the one big event for the department, according to Assistant Chief Francis DeBella. The volunteer firefighters run the entire event, and the proceeds benefit the department's social functions including scholarships and honoring departing or long-term members. Volunteer firefighter Troy Peterson serves as chair of the carnival committee.
“The firefighters are awful dedicated people and the townspeople look forward to the event,” DeBella said, “they work very hard and are to promote this carnival and all the time year-long protecting the town from fires.”
At 9:30 p.m. Friday, the carnival will host a fireworks display. Saturday is the rain date should the weather not cooperate. The display is being sponsored by dozens of local donors, with the highest level of donations coming from the Windsor Marketing Group, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Sinsigalli Signs, officials said. Atlas PyroVision of New Hampshire, one of the largest fireworks companies in the Northeast, will conduct the display.
The carnival promises rides, games, and of course delicious fair food. Some of the offerings include fried dough, sausage and peppers, hot dogs and hamburgers and other refreshments. DeBella stressed the family nature of the event, and the opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy the festivities.
A new feature of the carnival this year will be a booth hosted jointly by the volunteer firefighters, the United Way, UPS, the Windsor Locks Lions Ambulance, and the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association for the purpose of raising money for the United Way tornado recovery and relief fund. EMS staff at the booth will provide blood pressure screening for donors. All proceeds of the donations will go directly to The United Way.
"Please show your support for our neighbors by making a small donation," Peterson said.
On Saturday, the Fireman's Parade will run from the firehouse onto Elm Street and then to Southwest Avenue and ending at the carnival grounds at the Veteran's Memorial Park. The parade will feature volunteers from the Windsor Locks Fire Department and Ambulance as well as trucks from many departments from nearby towns. As many as 35 towns participate in the parade and show off their vehicles. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m.
The carnival opens at 6 p.m. each day. Parking and admission to the carnival are free. Daily passes for rides will also be available.