Rides and food dominate a sizzling night at the Manchester carnival

Hot temperatures hung over the lights and sounds of on the first night of the Manchester Fireman’s Carnival, but guests still came out for the food, the bluegrass and the wide selection of rides and games.

Isha Renta, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said the highest observed temperature at the Carroll County Regional Airport was 102 degrees, while the highest observed heat index temperature was 111 degrees.

“That’s probably where the crowds are,” said fire department spokesman Steve Miller as he was taking a breather from working at the funnel cake stand. “Usually we’re battling the rain.”

But he had hope that Wednesday’s temperatures, which were forecasted in the 80s would tempt more guests out of the air conditioning to try the rides and the food, which is a highlight for many, with pizza, crab cakes, hamburgers, and more available. Miller himself is partial to funnel cakes.

The carnival runs through Saturday, July 7, and is open 6 to 11 p.m. Kitchen hours are 5 to 9 p.m. The annual parade will be held Tuesday, July 3, and the fireworks will be held Thursday, July 5, starting at about 10 p.m. The rain date is July 8.

One person who wasn’t sweating the temps Monday night was Quinlan Casey who was taking a shift in the dunk tank for the North Carroll Sea Lions Swim Team. The activity will be open all nights of the carnival.

Though the water was warm, he said he wanted people to dunk him, and was reluctant to get out when his turn in the tank was over.

“Anybody want to put a fish in the water?” his mother, Jenel Casey, called to passerby as she volunteered collecting money.

The dunk booth is one of the team’s biggest fundraisers, she said. The group includes about 63 members, and many will take turns throughout the week in the tank to raise funds for their facilities and coaches as well as maybe picking up a few service hours for school.

Nearby, at the stage where bluegrass band Long Ryde was playing, Patricia Switzer, of Hanover, and Wilbert Switzer, of York, were taking the opportunity to spend an evening dancing and didn’t seem to mind whether they were the only ones or if they inspired others to join in.

‘We open it up with happiness,” Hoover said.

He was “excited” to be in the tank Monday evening and said his favorite part of swim team is “doing the swim meets.”

One new ride, the Super Shot, made its appearance at the carnival this year, and seemed to attract the more thrill-seeking riders.

“I like all the rides,” said Daniel Schipper, of Manchester, though the Round Up was his favorite. The carnival was a chance to have a nice night with his friends without spending too much money.

As she was waiting for her kids to finish on one of the rides, Michelle Miller, of Manchester, remarked that the carnival is a huge social event for the kids, who enjoy the rides, the games and the company. After being out of town in recent years, they were excited to be there for a carnival week.

“We come probably a couple of times during [the] week,” she said. And what’s the best reason to come?

“To support the fire department,” she said.

catalina.righter@carrollcountytimes.com

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