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Firefighters plan annual 'extravaganza' this weekend

May 08, 2007

The Hagerstown, Maryland Professional Firefighters and the IAFF Local 1605 Foundation are hosting the annual Bonanza Extravaganza this weekend.

According to organizers, this year's event is growing from the success of the 2006 Bonanza Extravaganza.

"Last year's event was held at the Hagerstown Speedway, and the Foundation sold all 10,000 tickets for the event, and an equal number of guest passes," according to Rick Conrad.

"The attendance on the Saturday of last year's event was nearly 7,000 people."

Following the 2006 Bonanza, the Foundation donated $40,000 to Children's Village of Washington County and an additional $53,000 to other community nonprofit organizations.

The donation to Children's Village assured that every second-grader in Washington County would be able to attend the fire safety program that year.

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During last year's fundraising event, several thousand people came from outside of Washington County along with thousands of local residents, to enjoy the live music and compete for valuable prizes.

"We're very pleased to help sponsor the event again this year," said Tom Riford, President and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"The annual 'Bonanza Extravaganza' attracts people to Washington County, which positively impacts local hotels and businesses, and the fundraising certainly helps local nonprofits."

The 2007 Bonanza Extravaganza will be held May 11-12 at the Hagerstown Speedway. The gates will open at noon on Friday, May 11, beer sales at 4 p.m., and gaming at 7 p.m. From 7:30 to 10 p.m., there will be a $1,000 prize given away to someone in attendance every 15 minutes.

"Saturday will be the busiest day as the Foundation gives away more than $800,000 in cash and prizes. We are planning to have an extensive prize list, and intend to include seven 2007 Chevrolet vehicles, seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles, campers, four wheelers, jet skis and more. Cash prizes include more than 50 $1,000 winners, 10 $2,000 winners, four $5,000 winners, three $10,000 winners and one person will win $100,000," Conrad said.

Organizers have scheduled live music for both Friday, May 11, and Saturday May 12. Saturday's live music will be followed by a dance party that will start at 8 p.m. just after the $100,000 winner is announced. The 2007 Bonanza Extravaganza is sponsored by Sprint, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hicks Chevrolet, Keystone RV Sales and more. The Maryland National Guard has also partnered with the Foundation. The National Guard's climbing wall, gaming trailer and specially-designed Humvee will be on display.

"Hotels and campgrounds are reporting brisk reservations. This will be a great event," Conrad said.

For more information, go to www.bonanzaextravaganza.com. According to the Web site, tickets are $100, and "bring a guest for $20." All the contest rules are fully explained on the Web site, along with a complete listing of prize give-aways.

For more information about the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, see: www.marylandmemories.com.

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