Everyone is invited to the Urbana Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company Carnival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with fireworks and a special discount on rides. Nightly musical entertainment, kids’ games and rides, buffet dinners, pizza, ice cream and more will be available at the event, July 14-19.
“Come hungry,” advised Dennis McGrew, chair of the carnival. A wide variety of food options, including the popular fresh-cut “Urbana” fries, steak and cheese subs and sausage sandwiches, will be sold by outdoor vendors. Carnival visitors can also enjoy a buffet dinner in the air-conditioned Banquet Hall every night at the carnival.
Local bands such as A Classic Case and Rock and Roll Relics will be back by popular demand on Saturday and Monday nights. Local musician and Nashville recording artist Donnie Wood will perform at the carnival for the first time on Thursday evening. Allen Brown, Debbie Williams and Friends will take the stage on Friday night.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, the musicians perform three shows at 7:15 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. There will be two shows on Monday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The carnival also features bingo and a raffle drawing for cash prizes, as well as a hand-made, queen-size Amish quilt.
John Knill, who organizes the raffle for the carnival, said he is hoping for cooler weather this year.
The fire company pays for most of its expenses with funding from community events and donations. The carnival is its main fundraiser each year. Proceeds from the carnival enable the company to buy new and replacement equipment, pay the mortgage and provide funds for training and technology.
“We need the support of the community,” said Doug Smith, who plans the entertainment for the carnival.
Smith said the carnival had to cut back on entertainment this year because of lack of funds. In addition to inflation, a decrease in revenue due to a few years of poor weather conditions during the Urbana carnival has affected the company’s ability to pay for musicians.
The Greater Urbana Area Food Bank will be partnering with the fire company to offer a discount on rides on Saturday, July 19. Carnival visitors can receive a dollar discount for every nonperishable food item they donate, up to a maximum of $5.
The fire company needs carnival volunteers from the community. Many different kinds of volunteer opportunities are available, including administrative support, fundraising and help with dinners and other carnival activities. For more information about volunteering, please contact Dennis McGrew at email@example.com.
Advance ride tickets can be purchased for $12 at the Fire House, on July 5 and July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discount ride tickets are also available at the Dairy Queen at the FSK Mall, the Village Orthodontist in Urbana and Burdette Brothers in Hyattstown, Md. The regular price for all-day ride tickets is $25.
For more information about the carnival, please visit www.urbanavfd.org/carnival.html.