Smithsburg carnival celebrates 75 years

June 21, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company started 75 years ago with one firetruck, 45 members willing to pay their $1 dues, and one guy whose job was to stand on a stone in town square and ring the siren.

Today, the fire company has four trucks, responds to 450 to 480 calls in a given year and makes roughly $30,000 from its yearly summer carnival fundraiser, which draws about 10,000 people, said Chris Rohrer, the fire company's deputy chief.

While the fire company has come a long way, its volunteers plan to pay homage to the company's humble roots - Monday kicks off the 75th anniversary carnival at the grounds just behind the fire company's North Main Street building.

Much of the carnival will be business as usual, with the standard carnival rides, food and live music; the festival runs from 6 to 11 p.m. through Saturday, June 30. Bands will perform twice a night starting Tuesday.


The 75th anniversary treat comes during Saturday's parade, for which Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company members will use the same firetruck their predecessors used in 1933, the year after its official founding, Rohrer said.

Phil Rohrer, president of the fire company and Chris Rohrer's father, said much of the company's history, along with the firetruck, is passed from one generation of members to the next.

Phil Rohrer said at least 10 current members are related to past volunteers.

"These guys give up time with their families to run a call, day or night," said Rohrer, who said he decided to join after his son became involved at the age of 11.

Smithsburg carnival entertainment schedule

Monday, June 25

Karaoke contest. Sign up 6 p.m. Contest begins at 7. Winners announced at around 10. Registration costs $10. Cash prizes for first through third place.

Tuesday, June 26

Live music by The Amazing Rhythm Aces, 7 and 10 p.m. '70s-era country. More at

Wednesday, June 27

Live music by Possum Holler, 7 and 10 p.m. Country music. More at

Thursday, June 28

Live music by Thunderhawk, 7 and 10 p.m. Country music.

Friday, June 29

Live music by Brushfire, 7 and 10 p.m. Country music.

Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Half-hour to 45-minute show. Outside food allowed. Pets and alcohol prohibited.

Saturday, June 30

Parade, starts at 4 p.m. on Water Street near Fil-Tech Inc., will cross Main Street and will end on Bradbury Avenue, by Smithsburg High School's tennis court (note: Pennsylvania Avenue turns into Bradbury Avenue) at around 5 p.m.

Live music by Rhett Troxell, 7 and 10 p.m.

If you go ...

WHAT: Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company's 75th annual carnival

WHEN: 6 to 11 p.m. Monday, June 25, through Saturday, June 30. Live music at 7 and 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Rides, food daily.

WHERE: The grounds behind the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company building, 22 N. Main St., Smithsburg.

COST: Free admission. Amusement rides cost. $15 per day for all-you-can-ride pass Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; $10 all-you-can-ride special Thursday.


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