A thrilling pyrotechnic production Thursday evening is one of many reasons to visit Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company's 68th annual carnival next week.
It's the first time in a long time that fireworks will be featured at the local carnival, said fire company member Travis Norwood. "We decided to do this for something extra," he said. "People love fireworks."
The fund-raising event officially opens at 6 p.m. Monday and will continue each evening through July 29, at the carnival grounds at Route 27 and Twin Arch Road in Mount Airy.
Delicious carnival goodies, bingo, games of chance, rides and nightly entertainment provide many opportunities to have fun while you support the local Fire Department. Patrons are encouraged to begin their carnival visits with buffet dinners that will be served each night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the air-conditioned Firemen's Activities Building.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will attract amusement ride enthusiasts, who will be able to ride all night for one fee. The fire company has distributed $2 discount coupons throughout the community to be used toward the cost of the ride-all-night "wristlets."
From the towering Ferris wheel to the tot-pleasing mini-vehicles, Rosedale Attractions will provide rides for the event.
Carnival guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for comfortable seating while they watch the on-stage entertainment that begins each evening at 7:15 p.m. Patrons are also asked to leave their coolers at home.
Kathy Martin and The Hot Rods will kick off the carnival Monday with rock 'n' roll from the 1950s and '60s. Country groups such as Young Guns on Tuesday, Oklahoma Band on Wednesday, Branded on Friday, and Rick Holley and Friends on Saturday will fill out the rest of the schedule.
Area fire companies and marching groups will trek down Main Street and Park Avenue to the carnival grounds during the annual Mount Airy Firemen's Parade at 7 p.m. Thursday. Parade entries judged tops will be honored with trophies and cash prizes at a ceremony after the parade.
A fabulous fireworks show, created by Zambelli International, will explode in the nighttime skies over the carnival grounds immediately after the awards.
The fire company has provided patrons with many opportunities to take home prizes in its Giant $6,000 Cash Giveaway. One-hundred dollars will be given away nightly, Monday through Friday, and raffle ticket purchasers who are present to hear their names called during hourly drawings each evening will take home $25 cash prizes.
Winners do not have to be present to win at the grand prize drawing Saturday evening. That drawing will feature a $4,000 first prize, a $1,000 second prize and a $500 third prize. Mount Airy's Junior Fire Company also is holding a raffle, with two prizes to be awarded Saturday evening. First prize will be a 150-pound beef hind quarter and second prize will be Sega video game gear.
Fire company and auxiliary volunteers are devoting long hours to make the fund-raiser a success. These volunteers, who support the community each day of the year, hope that area residents will turn out en masse for the six-day event. The carnival is the Mount Airy Fire Company's biggest fund-raising event.
The yearly carnival profits represent approximately one-third of the annual payment on Mount Airy's new firehouse on North Main Street, said fire company treasurer Jimmy Linton. Carroll County pays 75 percent of Mount Airy Fire Company's total operating expenses, but the organization itself is responsible for 25 percent of its operating expenses and all of its capital budget, which includes equipment or capital improvements, he said.
Hats off to the nine young men who were sponsored by American Legion Post 191 to attend the organization's Boys State camp in late June at Western Maryland College.
The annual residential camp is a structured and demanding exercise in democracy that introduces selected high school juniors from Maryland to a variety of governmental and political issues.
The event promotes Americanism in today's youth. A similar program, Girl's State, is also sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary at Washington College in Chestertown each summer.
Mount Airy's delegates to Boys' State are students at Linganore High School in Frederick County or South Carroll High School in Carroll County. The Linganore representatives were Christopher R. Burch, Jedd A. Canty, Brynn C. Dusza and Mark W. Lazzaro. The South Carroll representatives were Kevin M. Klekner, Kjeld C. Lauritzen, Kurt M. Long, Michael A. Shay and Christopher J. Truffer.