Flashing lights and loud noises will be coming from the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Station this week, but the commotion won't be coming from the trucks parked inside and out.
The annual Firemen's Carnival will add glamour and glitz to the otherwise ordinary fire grounds, at 7 p.m. every day until Saturday.
Chief Mike Robinson said the carnival kicked off Monday with 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, even though it had to be shut down after less than two hours because a storm threatened.
He said he hopes to draw about 20,000 people throughout the week.
"We have over 20 rides. They're probably the best portable rides on the East Coast," he said.
This year's hottest ride, the Kamikaze, holds 40 people in two capsules. It swings them in a pendulum-like motion up to 72 feet high, and climaxes by taking the capsules in a full circle and then
reversing the motion.
The carnival also features about 40 food and game stands, as well as carnival bingo in an air-conditioned hall, and a beer garden, where visitors can sit to enjoy a meal.
Tonight will be the last night of an all-you-can-ride special that gives thrill-seekers unlimited access to rides for $9.50.
Those with less will for the thrill can try individual rides with prices ranging from $1.50 to $3.
Political candidates also will have booths at this year's carnival.
According to Bob Ganz, president of the fire company, the carnival is the largest fund-raiser for the fire station.
"It can make anywhere from $20,000 on a bad week to about $70,000 on a good week, but you never know," he said. "We're hoping for a good week."
The money will be used to buy fire equipment and make improvements on the firehouse, such as installing sprinkler systems and an elevator, and enhancing the quarters for women firefighters.