Families flock to Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company’s annual carnival

Nicole Albaugh rose high off the ground in her seat on the Supershot at the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company’s annual carnival Monday. And then, it plummeted.

“You felt like you could never reach the top,” said Albaugh, 17, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. “You didn’t know when the top was going to be. And when you heard it, it was like, boom.”


It was the first time she’d been on it — but it wouldn’t be the last, she said, planning to go on it again.

The rain held off on the carnival’s opening night — glittering lights from swinging, twisting rides lit up the cloudy sky as carnival-goers walked around to the drop tower, grabbed some fried food or threw some rings at the ring-a-knife game.

Diane Warch, of Taneytown, with her sons, Nick (left) and Alex (right).
Diane Warch, of Taneytown, with her sons, Nick (left) and Alex (right). (Leah Brennan / Carroll County Times)

The carnival, which wraps up on Saturday, acts as “single biggest fundraiser" for the fire company, said Sam Perry, the carnival committee’s chairman. The money from the six-night spectacle goes into the company’s general fund, meaning it goes toward everything it needs to function on a day-to-day basis, including new engines, hoses, building maintenance and gear, Perry said.

There’s also a planned cash drawing, with a $2,000 first prize, to be drawn on closing night. Tickets are $1 apiece, or six for $5, Perry said.

Attendees had a range of food options to nosh on — roast chicken and ham, pit beef, funnel cakes, fries, crab cakes and more. Monday’s offerings were also set to feature a live performance from Bootleg — a six-piece band that plays classic rock, blues and country music — but it was canceled due to expected poor weather conditions. Rides included a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, the Supershot, Round Up, Dragon Wagon and several others.

Tom Jurasko Sr., who has lived in Taneytown for about 40 years, ate a funnel cake with his son, Tom Jurasko Jr. The younger Jurasko used to live in Taneytown and would bring his children when they were were little, but he’s called a number of places home over the years — South Carolina, Minnesota, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. Though he’s moved around, the carnival’s been a constant.

“We try to support the local department,” said Jurasko Jr., 59. “It’s something to do, too. Good food.”

Diane Warch, 43, of Taneytown, looked on as her sons soared high in the air on the swings tucked in the corner of the event. She said they come every year since the kids enjoy the rides, and they see people they know there.

Eight-year-old Alex Warch said he enjoyed the ride because it “takes you into the sky.”

Kiersten Carder, 10, and Ethan Carder, 7, tried their hand at the Hoop Shot after Kiersten won a poster playing balloon darts.

“We love the carnival, we support it for the fire company every year,” said their mother, Laura Carder, 38, of Taneytown.

Though she lives in Frederick County now, Melissa Thomas also supports the carnival every year, coming back to the city where she grew up. With her nephews and daughter, Logynn Thomas, in tow, the family took on the Big Top Circus, a short obstacle course, and hurried to the Dragon Wagon.

“It’s a great family environment for people of all ages, and it’s a great cause — for the fire department,” Thomas said. “It’s always a great time.”

Kiersten, Mark, Ethan and Laura Carder (left to right) at the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company’s annual carnival June 10.
Kiersten, Mark, Ethan and Laura Carder (left to right) at the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company’s annual carnival June 10. (Leah Brennan / Carroll County Times)