A distinctly Carroll County tradition resumes in late May when the fire carnival season begins. Essentially, from late May through mid-August, nearly every week is filled with rides, games, dinner platters, raffles and classic rock or country bands as 11 fire companies host carnivals.
The season begins in Gamber on May 26 and ends in Hampstead on Aug. 18 with plenty of kids going home with goldfishes, riding on Ferris wheels and tagging along as their parents enjoy some music.
When: Saturday, May 26, through Saturday, June 2, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: 3838 Niner Road, Finksburg
Highlights: Fireworks scheduled for Memorial Day, May 28, at 9 p.m. Ride all night for $22 every night except Tuesday and Thursday which will be $19. Major raffle prize money totaling $10,000, fire company raffle for a John Deere Z355R among other prizes; auxiliary raffle for a 55-inch LG TV among other prizes; food includes pit beef, pit ham, pit turkey, pizza, fresh-cut french fries, fried chicken, funnel cakes, dinner platters, crabcakes and homemade crab soup.
Entertainment: May 26: The Rock & Roll Relics; May 27: Midnite Run; May 28: The Josh Christina Band; May 29: Hickory Hills; May 30: The Brandy Stills Band; May 31 Salem Bottom Boys; June 1: The Rivers Bend Band; and June 2: Rich and The Roadrunners.
When: Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 2; opens at 6 p.m.
Where: 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge
Highlights: Karaoke contest on May 28; Firemen's Parade on May 30; Firemen's Case Drawing (first place $2,500); Ladies Auxiliary raffle for bushel of crabs; food includes fried chicken, fried ham sandwiches, crab cakes, Italian sausage, sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, pit beef, pit turkey, french fries, pizza, funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreo cookies and hand-dipped ice cream.
Entertainment: May 29: River's Bend Band; May 31: Boot Leg; June 1: Brick Yard Road Band; and June 2: Wylde Fire.
When: Monday, June 4, through Saturday, June 9; opens at 5:30 p.m.
Where: 101 High St., New Windsor
Highlights: New Windsor Fire Prevention Contest, June 4; DJ services, June 5-6; silent auction; Big Money drawing to be held June 9 for $6,000 in prizes.
Entertainment: June 7: Iron Ridge; June 8: Jay Henley and the Stone Broke Band; and June 9: Problem Child.
When: Monday, June 11, through Saturday, June 16
Where: 49 Memorial Drive, Taneytown
Highlights: Cash drawing ($2,000 first prize); buffet-style platters each night (Monday: hot chicken and ham, Tuesday: meat loaf and hot chicken, Wednesday: hot beef and lasagna; Thursday: fried chicken and Salisbury steak; fish and lasagna; Saturday hot chicken and ham).
Entertainment: June 11: Inside Out Band; June 12: Silver Eagle Band; June 13: Rivers Bend Band; June 14: Half Serious; June 15: Boot Leg; and June 16: Borderline.
When: Saturday, June 16, through Saturday, June 23
Where: 6880 Sykesville Road, Sykesville
Highlights: Fireworks are traditionally on Friday night.
Entertainment: Bands each night, TBA
When: Monday, June 25, through Saturday, June 30; opens at 6 p.m.
Where: 5130 Harney Road, Taneytown
Highlights: Dining hall doors open for dinner at 4:30 p.m. in air-conditioned hall; inflatable rides, pay one price for rides every night, bingo all week in air-conditioning, Big Money drawing.
Entertainment: June 25: Hanover Express, June 26: Paul Wagner and Country Swingers, June 27: Borderline, June 28: Big Wheely & The White Walls; June 29: Silver Eagle Band; and June 30: River Bend Band.
When: Monday, July 2, through Saturday, July 7, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: 3399 Christmas Tree Lane, Manchester
Highlights: Parade scheduled for July 3 at 6 p.m.; ride every night $20 ($18 in advance, $15 on July 4); fireworks on July 5, food includes burgers, hot dogs, pit beef, pit ham, pit turkey, funnel cakes, ice cream, Italian sausage, cheese steaks and fries.
Entertainment: July 2: Long Ryde; July 3: Josh & The Good Ole Stuff; July 4:The Cruisers; July 5: Bootleg; July 6: Rich & the Roadrunners with Elvis (Joe Forrester); and July 7: Rivers Bend Band.
When: Monday, July 9, through Saturday, July 14
Where: 1320 Old Liberty Road
When: Monday, July 16, through Saturday, July 21
Where: 1745 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster
When: Monday, July 23, through Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Where: 1008 Twin Arch Road, Mount Airy
Highlights: Gala Parade on July 26; fireworks on July 28; ride all night for one price Monday through Wednesday, Big Money raffle with $4,000 grand prize.
Entertainment: July 23: Twenty Dollar Prophet; July 24: Chasing Friday; July 25: Sticktime; July 26: Debbie Williams; July 27: The Rock and Roll Relics; and July 28: Brittany Fields.
When: Monday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 11 p.m. (3:45 to 11 p.m. Saturday)
Where: Park at North Carroll High School (continuously running free shuttle buses)
Highlights: Food, music, rides, raffles, games with platters of roast beef, chicken and shrimp served nightly; Miss Fire Prevention Contest on Aug. 14; Big Money drawing on Aug. 18; fire parade TBA.