Central Carroll: County's biggest carnival celebrating 70 years of Reese fire company

Central Carroll: County's biggest carnival celebrating 70 years of Reese fire company
The Reese fire company's annual carnival is shown in 2015. This year's Reese carnival runs from Monday, July 16, through Saturday, July 21. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

For kids, carnivals are a big part of summer, but they’re also a place for friends and families to meet up.

This year the Reese volunteer fire company has a special one on tap. It is the fire company’s 70th anniversary, and that’s just one more reason to celebrate and to get out to support the fire company.


Reese’s carnival will run from Monday, July 16, through Saturday, July 21, with exciting rides, good food, entertainment, games and more. The carnival opens at 6 p.m. nightly on Monday through Friday and at 4 p.m. Saturday.

"The Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company Carnival is one of, if not the biggest carnival in Carroll County,” said Robin Stansbury, public information officer for Reese fire company. “It has also been voted as Carroll's Best Carnival by the readers of Carroll County Times for many years. We are centrally located just east of Westminster along Route 140 which makes access from surrounding areas like Baltimore and South Central Pennsylvania easy.”

Look for good food nightly, including fried chicken, pit beef, pit ham, pit turkey, fried shrimp, barbecue, chicken tenders, hamburgers, hot dogs, crab cakes, french fries, pizza, funnel cakes, snowballs, cotton candy, hand-dipped ice cream and more.

“The carnival has become a great gathering place for young and old alike,” Stansbury said. “Families have made this a great place to spend time together as well as friends connecting with old friends they have not seen for years.”

Those who come for the music should bring lawn chairs to sit to enjoy nightly entertainment. On Monday, July 16, you’ll find rock music by Train Wreck. Rock music continues on Tuesday night with Great Train Robbery. The band, Big Jack will offer AC/DC tribute music on Wednesday evening, followed by the KISS tribute band — Cold Gin on Thursday. Get your country music fix on Friday evening with Dean Crawford & Dunn’s River Band and find bluegrass music on Saturday, July 21 with the Salem Bottom Boys

Parents will find special ride all night prices as follows: Monday night - $10; Tuesday and Wednesday nights — $20; and Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights — $23. Single ride tickets cost $1.75 each or 30 tickets for $40, or 50 tickets for $60.

“Come out and enjoy our true Carroll County hospitality,” Stansbury said.

Further information can be found on the company's website at or by calling the fire company at 410-848-7152.

8th annual Heavens to Betsey Flea Market

Susan Wilhelm says love is a four-legged word. For her, helping pets in need is the best feeling in the world. That’s why an event she started eight years ago continues, with the purpose of saving the lives of animals, keeping them safe and healthy.

The eighth annual Heavens to Betsey Flea Market will be held on Saturday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carroll County Agriculture Center. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Humane Society of Carroll County. Donations of pet food, clean blankets, baby wipes, general purpose cleaners, dog and cat toys and other pet needs will be collected at the event. For a full list, visit the Humane Society’s wish list at

“Years ago, I decided to create a business that would give back to the community,” Wilhelm said.

That is what this event is about, and four-legged, tail wagging leashed pets are welcome. Wilhelm’s dog will be there.

“She’s the official mascot for the show,” Wilhelm said. “She recently won Pet of the Month for Baltimore’s Child magazine.”

The first 100 visitors will receive a free gift at the Heavens to Betsey Entrance Booth. Admission and parking is free, and there will be plenty to shop for, with over 100 flea market and craft vendors.


Wilhelm said there will be many affordable items, including pet portraits, pet items, antiques, collectibles and more.

Look for a raffle as well. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or six for $5 with winners announced at the end of the event. Raffle items range from theater tickets, gift certificates to dinner and local businesses, flowers, jewelry, pottery, gift baskets and more.

There will be plenty of good food to eat with the Genco Gang food truck and ice cream desserts from The Cow. In addition, the event will host the Carroll County mobile cat adoption van and face painting for kids.

Wilhelm said, "Come out and have fun for a great cause."

The Carroll County Agriculture Center is located at 700 Agriculture Lane, Westminster.

Anyone wishing to donate a raffle item, or wanting to rent a vendor space for $25 may contact Susan Wilhelm at or call 443-930-6304. More information can also be found on Facebook by searching for the “Heavens to Betsey 8th Annual Rescue Flea Market Fundraiser” event page.

Outdoor Movie Night

There’s nothing quite like watching a good movie with friends or family under a starry sky. Deer Park United Methodist Church makes it even better, by offering it for free.

On the second Saturday of each month — May through September — the church offers a free movie in the Deer Park Church Pavilion, located at 2205 Sykesville Road, Westminster. July’s movie is “Paddington 2.”

The movie will start at sunset, but there’s even more. Music and games begin at 7:30 p.m., and there’s free popcorn until it runs out.

This rain or shine event offers an indoor option if the weather is uncooperative.

For more information, visit or contact Skye Bennett by phone at 443-244-0460 or by email at

Month of Sundays Concert Series

Don’t fret if you missed the kickoff of the annual Month of Sunday Concerts last week in the Westminster City Park. The series will continue every Sunday in July.

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and find your spot! The next concert on July 15 features Jah Works with roots rock reggae music. Then, on July 22 you can catch the Kelly Bell Band kicking up the blues, followed on July 29 by the Dave Matthews Tribute Band.

All concerts start at 6:45 p.m. at the park, 11 Longwell Ave. in Westminster.

These free summer concerts are sponsored by the City of Westminster. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, including pizza, snowballs, kettle corn, funnel cakes and French fries.

For more information, call 410-751-5501.