Firefighters Carnival starts Wednesday

The 89th annual Front Royal Firefighters Carnival kicks off Wednesday across from Bing Crosby Stadium. The 10-day festival will offer rides, games food and fireworks.

Entry to the carnival is free with attendees paying extra for rides, food and games.

Ronald “Hoss” Feldhauser is a life member with the Front Royal Fire Department.

“We don’t know exactly what rides will be there,” he said. “The contract says 18 rides. I know we’ll have 18 but which rides the ride provider brings depends on what other events he has going on around the region, but there’s big rides and kiddie rides.”

Certain days draw a higher turnout than others, Feldhauser said.

“There is a parade. It’s on the second Wednesday of the carnival. The carnival starts on the 13th and goes through the 23rd. On the 20th is the parade. On Thursday night is our fireworks, which probably, nowadays, is our biggest night, and Friday and Saturday are always big nights.”

Also the subject of much fanfare is the event’s food stand.

“The big draw of course is our cook stand. (We sell) hot dogs and hamburgers,” Feldhauser. “We’ve been cooking hot dogs on that same iron grill for about 80 years and the relish that we put on the hot dogs, which is our big attraction – it’s a mustard, cabbage and onion-based relish. We made 468 gallons this year, which is a little bit more than we made last year.”

Feldhauser said that festivities will start around 6:30 p.m. each night and will run until about 10:30 p.m., or “whenever everybody leaves.” The cook stand opens nightly at 5 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Front Royal Fire Department.

“The money is going to be earmarked for the replacement of a fire truck,” he said. “We’ve started talking about it. It’ll be three or four years from now before we actually get anything. A new fire truck will cost us between $750,000 and $1 million.”

Feldhauser said last year’s carnival was record-setting. He said he hopes this year’s turnout will be even greater.

The festival is a longtime Front Royal staple and Feldhauser explained why residents and tourists alike enjoy it.

“It’s a small town community carnival,” he said. “People come down and walk around and meet people they only see once in great while. It’s a great community event.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com