Bonanza Extravaganza to feature big prizes, big help

April 02, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Ask Hagerstown firefighter Rick Conrad about the upcoming Bonanza Extravaganza and words like "crazy" frequently come up.

So does the issue of money.

Last year's Bonanza Extravaganza generated about $150,000 in profits for the foundation that represents Hagerstown Professional Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1605. Of that money, about $88,000 was donated to local nonprofit groups, including Children's Village, and the rest became seed money for this year's event, Conrad said.

This year, the Bonanza Extravaganza, a festival that features bands and foods May 11 and May 12, has increased its biggest drawing card - prize drawings every few minutes.

"We've been very good donators to the community, but we wanted to step that up and go crazy, and that's what we've done," Conrad said.


Conrad said participants at the event have the opportunities to win more than $800,000 in prizes - $100,000 more than event organizers gave out last year.

The prizes include seven Chevrolets and seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The winner of the final drawing will leave the event $100,000 richer.

Conrad said firefighters are able to pay for the Bonanza Extravaganza and fund all the prizes through the sale of $100 admission tickets and $20 guest passes. While both $100 ticketholders and their guests can enjoy the music, only the $100 ticketholders are eligible for the cash and vehicle prizes.

Tickets for the two-day event at Hagerstown Speedway already are going fast, Conrad said. Last year, people from as far away as Japan and Iraq ordered tickets; Web site orders are coming in from around the world, Conrad said.

Conrad said he expects the event will attract 7,500 to 8,000 people May 12, its biggest and busiest day. People need to be present to win only during the May 11 drawings.

Besides Children's Village, some local fire and ambulance companies received a portion of the proceeds last year, after their members agreed to help at the event, Conrad said.

Conrad said he expects tickets - 10,000 are available - to sell out.

"The ultimate winners are the charities that we give money to. That's what we do. That's what we're here for," Conrad said. "That's what we love to do."

If you go ...

What: The Bonanza Extravaganza drawings are May 11, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and May 12, from noon to 8 p.m. at Hagerstown Speedway.

Cost: Tickets cost $100 for participants and $20 for their guests. Only $100 ticketholders are eligible to win prizes.

Entertainment: Thique will play May 11. Just Cause, Rhythm Kings, The Lakota Band, Phat Katz and DVK Entertainment's High Energy Dance Party will entertain the crowd May 12.

To buy tickets: Visit or call 301-992-4476, 240-527-9857, 240-527-9781 or 301-991-4348.

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