Taneytown carnival's first day dampened by heavy rain

Appearing as abandoned heaps of metal, the rides at the Taneytown carnival never got started before the arrival of Monday's rain, forcing the closure of all but the food vendors — who carried on as a light shining through the sodden sky.

Although opening night of the Taneytown Carnival in Memorial Park began with torrents of rain, lightning and mere handfuls of guests, Tom Van De Bussche, public information officer for the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company, said his hopes weren't dampened. The big crowds, he said, really come out later in the week.


The annual carnival is a fundraiser for the fire company, and runs 5 - 10 p.m. June 8 - 13.

Walking side by side, each with funnel cakes protected by aluminum, Sarah Schaeffer of Taneytown and Peter Losey of Hampstead made the best of their date night at the carnival before Schaeffer leaves for a Texas vacation.

"It's kind of sad that there weren't rides on, but [we're] still glad that they made us some funnel cakes," Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer said she had been set for rides on the Tornado, the Zipper and the Tilt-a-Whirl. It was not meant to be.

The weather didn't bother all attendees, though.

"It was perfect for me because I didn't have any crowds, and I was able to get all the food I wanted," Taneytown resident Ray Baker said. "So the carnival was a perfect start."

Holding an umbrella in one hand and a plate of funnel cake in another, Baker headed to his car, achieving what he came for at the carnival.

"My main thing is the food," he said.

Proceeds from the carnival will go toward buying a new fire truck and a new ambulance, said David Newman, captain for the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company. The fire truck is $625,000 and the ambulance is $200,000.

"All of the hamburgers and pizza and funnel cakes that are sold pay for it," Newman said.

Food aside, Baker said the real reason he comes to the carnival is the firefighters.

"It's a crazy job and not many people do it," he said. "Whether they are volunteers or paid to do it, they are lifesavers."

If you go

What: Taneytown Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival


Where: Taneytown carnival grounds at 49 Memorial Drive, Taneytown

When: 5 to 10 p.m. June 8 to 13; rides open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $1 per ticket; $18 for a ride-all-night bracelet; $16 for a family pack of 20 tickets

For more information: go to the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Department's website at or contact Jim Haines at 443-375-2421.