OLYPHANT, Pa. -- The Fireman's Carnival, once such an important summertime event in many communities, is beginning to fade.
A number of volunteer companies have been canceling their carnivals, mostly due to declines in membership.
But in the Lackawanna County community of Olyphant, the annual Queen City Days is alive and well and kicking off Thursday night.
The carnival rides were up and running at Fern Hill Park in Olyphant and folks flocked for a night fun and of course good fair food.
“My favorite thing to eat is a kielbasa stick,” said Lacy Smith.
“Chicken, bacon, ranch fries, I believe, excellent, very good,” said Dan Carrasquillo, who came in from North Scranton for the event.
“My favorite thing to eat is cotton candy,” said Preslie Delrosso.
This is Olyphant's annual Queen City Days and it's something the community looks forward to every year.
“It's a giant neighborhood party,” said Tom Bosak, who owns Bosak’s Choice Meats in Olyphant and was one of the food vendors at the carnival.
The three-day event brings in a lot of good times and entertainment but more importantly, it brings in the most money the Eureka Hose Company will raise all year.
“This is our major fundraiser for the year,” said Hose Company Chairman John Sedlack, Jr. “We have loans on the truck and, of course, heavy insurance on the building and the fire apparatus. So this is our major fundraiser.”
This continuing Firemen’s Carnival comes at a time when other fire companies have had to end their carnivals due to lack of volunteers.
Last summer the Mountain Top Hose Company in Luzerne County held its last bazaar after 44 years.
And this month it was announced the Northeast Fair would no longer be held after raising money for the Pittston Township Volunteer Fire Department for 50 years.
In Olyphant, the Eureka Hose Company is keeping at it, despite the tough work.
“Yeah, we do, the guys come out, out of the woodwork I would say,” said Sedlack. “But we do get the help but it`s stressful for about a week but it gets done.”
“We're trying to help the fire company, we try to help the community,” said Bosak. “We have a small business down the road there and we're doing anything to help the community, the fire company, all the other vendors here because they're all from Olyphant.”
The Firemen's parade will be held Friday night at 7 p.m. with the carnival wrapping up Saturday night here in Olyphant.