Monday is the start of a six-day community bash held courtesy of the Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department: the Ridgway Firemen’s Carnival.
“Our carnival has been around for almost 77 years,” said Frank Quattrone, parade chair. During that time, the carnival has been an important celebration for the community.
“Every year we try and make it better,” he added.
One of the big features of the weeklong event, according to Quattrone, is the annual Firemen’s Parade, which will start at 4 p.m. Saturday. In the parade, fire departments throughout the area can proudly showcase the vehicles they use during their first responder duties.
Among the fire/emergency departments who are slated to appear in this year’s parade — given they are not called to an emergency — are Brockway, Johnsonburg, St. Marys, Elkland Search & Rescue, Penfield, Sheffield, Wilcox, Oklahoma and, of course, Ridgway.
Other parade participants will include people from the military, the government, police departments, non-profit organizations and businesses.
Registration to participate in the parade can be done through the Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department’s website, www.rfd4.org.
Other popular activities next week will include the pet parade at 6 p.m. Tuesday; Battle of the Barrel on Wednesday; and fireworks on Thursday, set to begin after the 10 p.m. drawing.
The carnival will kick off Monday with live music from 6 to 10 p.m., along with food stands and nightly drawings.
Each night from Monday through Wednesday, $50 drawings will be held at 7, 8 and 9 p.m., and a drawing for $100 will be at 10 p.m.
Tuesday will bring the annual Pet Parade, with line-up at 5:30 p.m. at the bottom of Center Street and the parade at 6 p.m. Ride tickets will be handed out to all children who are present. This will be the first night carnival rides open, and they will begin after the parade.
On Wednesday, Battle of the Barrel will be held on Main Street for firefighters only. The carnival will open at 6 p.m.
On Thursday will be the Special Olympics from 1 to 3 p.m., the carnival at 6 p.m. and the fireworks.
The nightly drawings on Thursday and Friday will be as follows: $50 drawings at 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m., and a $100 drawing at 11 p.m.
Friday is Matinee Day from 1 to 5 p.m., during which time attendees pay a one-time fee of $20 to ride until 5 p.m. The carnival will reopen from 6 to 11 p.m., and there will be a mountain bike giveaway, courtesy of Powers Midway, at 11 p.m.
Saturday will be Firemen’s parade, with parade participants beginning to line up at noon in the Motion Control rear parking lot at the end of Gillis Avenue. The parade will begin at 4 p.m.
Floats and bands will be judged as they go through the judges stand on Main Street, and all awards will be announced at the money stand afterward.
The carnival will open right after the parade.
Saturday drawings will include $50 drawings at 7, 8 9 and 10 p.m.; and $100 drawings at 11 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. At midnight, participants will have a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize, as well as 53 gift certificates from local businesses. People do not have to be present to win.