Smithsburg carnival continues community tradition

June 22, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

The annual Smithsburg Fireman's Carnival is such a long-standing tradition, few can remember a June without the carnival's bevy of amusements, games, food and entertainment.

Buddy Blake, a 30-year volunteer with the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co., says the carnival was part of his childhood.

"When I was a kid - and I'm 63 years old now - I remember going up there" to the carnival, he says. "They've been going on for a long, long, long time. (The carnivals) have always been a lot of fun. They always have good rides and good food."

The carnival is run totally by volunteers, Blake says. Community groups will be volunteering to help put on the weeklong carnival.

This year's carnival will last six days, kicking off Monday, June 26. Entertainment is planned every night with a fireworks display on Friday night, June 30.


Monday night's karaoke contest is always a draw, Blake says. Contestants run the gamut from seriously awful to seriously good. "You have to laugh at it sometimes," Blake says. Some karaoke singers "knock your socks off." Cash prizes will be awarded to the best karaoke singers.

Tuesday's headlining group, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, has been around Nashville since the days of 8-tracks. The band's hit "The End is Not in Sight" won a Grammy in 1976 for best country vocal performance by a group. The group is also known for songs such as "Third Rate Romance" and "Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song)."

The country-rock band toured with Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles before disbanding in 1981.

The group, best described as an Americana/roots band, is now back together again and making new music, says Russell Smith, the band's singer, songwriter and guitarist.

"It's been real fun for us to come back and be writing new music and recording new music," Smith says. In 1995 the group got together to re-record a collection of past hits. The CD release had interest from fans, Smith says. "It just sort of relit its own flame," he says of the group.

The group continues to record new music. Its latest CD, "Nothin' But the Blues," was released in 2004 and is a compilation of blues and classic R&B-style music.

The Amazing Rhythm Aces' performance at the carnival will be a mix of old hits and "new stuff," Smith says. "There will be a pretty good mix of everything."

The Smithsburg Fireman's Carnival is a fundraiser for the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co. Money raised from the carnival goes toward new equipment purchases.

Schedule of events

Monday, June 26, 7 p.m. - Karaoke contest

Tuesday, June 27, 7 and 10 p.m. - The Amazing Rhythm Aces

Wednesday, June 28, 7 and 10 p.m. - The Reagan Years, 1980s pop music

Thursday, June 29, 7 and 10 p.m. - Lost & Found, bluegrass music

Friday, June 30, 7 and 10 p.m. - Bob Plunkert, traditional country music;

Friday, June 30, 9 p.m. - Fireworks

Saturday, July 1, 5 p.m. - Fireman's Parade

Saturday, July 1, 7 and 10 p.m. - Country music from ThunderHawk (The parade will travel through downtown Smithsburg on Main Street).

Penn-Wood Amusements will offer the following ride specials: Monday through Wednesday, ride all night for $14; on Thursday, $10 for unlimited rides for ages 10 and younger, and $14 for unlimited rides for ages 11 and older.

Raffle tickets will be on sale during the carnival week. Raffle items include a Weber gas grill and a Weber outdoor fireplace. Raffle winners will be announced at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 1.

If you go...

WHAT: Smithsburg Fireman's Carnival

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday, June 26, through Saturday, July 1

WHERE: Fire Company Grounds, 32 Main St., Smithsburg

COST: Free admission; cost for rides, games and food

DIRECTIONS: Take Md. 64 east toward Smithsburg. Turn left onto Md. 66. Turn left onto Main Street.

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