New Windsor residents gathered along Main Street and High Street on Wednesday, the one night during the town’s weeklong fireman’s carnival when, in addition to rides, games and food, the locals can also enjoy a parade.
The annual carnival is an important fundraiser for the New Windsor Volunteer Fire Company which helps them purchase vital tools to do their job.
“It’s probably our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Bryon Welker, fire company spokesman. “The county pays a good portion of our operating expenses, but we still have to pay for the fire engines, the fire house and all the big-ticket items. That’s important to us because without that stuff, we can’t do our job. The county gives us all the other tools, but we just can’t survive without [the carnival].”
Residents attended the parade to support their local fire company despite the cloudy sky and the chance of rain looming over them.
The carnival offered rides such as the Ferris wheel, the Cyclone and the Baja Buggy and games such as Hoop Shots, Ring Toss and Fishpond. Treats such as caramel apples, cotton candy and popcorn were available at the snack booth. Many lined up for fried treats, barbecue meats, steak and cheeses and more.
Mary Jane Boteler attended the parade and carnival with her two children, Henry, 3, and Charlie, 6.
“We come here every year just to see the parade because the kids love the parade,” said Boteler. “They look forward to it, they talk about it every day, the whole year until it’s the day of. It’s big, it’s fun and it looks like people put their heart into it.”
After the parade, they all go over to the carnival, but the parade is always first.
Boteler has been in Maryland for about five years and used to live on Main Street, where she had no choice but to watch the parade. She now lives in Mayberry.
“After we moved, we kept coming back to this place to watch the parade,” said Boteler.
This will be Henry’s and Charlie’s first year on the rides.
All about the fries
Gabrielle Smallwood has lived in New Windsor her whole life and has always gone to the carnival and parade.
“We always come on parade night,” said Smallwood. “I just come for the carnival, but all of our money goes to the fire department so, it’s good to support your local fire department between Union Bridge and New Windsor.”
Smallwood attends to support the locals as well.
“Growing up, you walked in the parade with the sporting team that you played with so, it’s always good to support the local people in the parade as well,” she said.
Supporting her local fire company is also important to Gubernatis.
“The carnival means a lot to me because it’s one of biggest fundraisers that we have and it helps us tremendously and it’s a great opportunity for us to spread the fire prevention word,” said Gubernatis.